Johnson, Liukin nominated to 2008 U.S. Olympic Women's Gymnastics Team
posted on 06/22/2008

Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson
© John Cheng

PHILADELPHIA, Pa., June 22, 2008 – Shawn Johnson of West Des Moines, Iowa, and Nastia Liukin of Parker, Texas, automatically qualified for nomination to the 2008 U.S. Olympic Women’s Gymnastics Team following the conclusion of the women’s competition at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Gymnastics at the Wachovia Center in Philadelphia, Pa. Ten women were also selected to attend a final selection camp on July 16-20, where the balance of the squad will be nominated to the U.S. Olympic Team pending approval from the U.S. Olympic Committee.

Johnson and Liukin finished with two-day totals of 127.650 and 125.850, respectively. The top two all-around competitors at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials (based on a combined two-day score) automatically qualified for the U.S. Olympic Team.

“This is only the beginning,” Johnson said. “I am just overwhelmed with joy. I am so happy. This moment is all worth it.”

“I am really ecstatic to be named to the team,” Liukin said. “I can’t believe it’s here. This is a dream come true. I still have to prove myself at camp, go back in the gym and prove myself.”

At the conclusion of the competition and before a crowd of 13,920, 10 women were invited to the 2008 Women’s Olympic Selection Camp, July 16-20 at the Women’s National Team Training Center in Huntsville, Texas: Jana Bieger, Coconut Creek, Fla./Bieger International Gymnastics; Chelsea Davis, Lakeway, Texas/Texas Dreams; Ivana Hong, Blue Springs, Mo./GAGE; Mattie Larson, Los Angeles/All Olympia; Corrie Lothrop, Gaithersburg, Md./Hill’s; Chellsie Memmel, West Allis, Wis./M&M Gymnastics; Samantha Peszek, Indianapolis, Ind./DeVeau’s; Alicia Sacramone, Winchester, Mass./Brestyan’s; Bridget Sloan, Pittsboro, Ind./Sharp’s; and Shayla Worley, Orlando, Fla./Orlando Metro.

Memmel and Peszek finished third and fourth, respectively, in the all-around with scores of 124.800 and 123.250. Hong rounded out the top five at 120.950.

“I came in hoping for the best,” Memmel said. “I didn’t start off well on vault, but just kept going. I totally felt the crowd behind me, especially on floor.”

“I’m most pleased with floor today because I improved my double Arabian,” Peszek said. “It’s great to go to camp because it will unite our team and get us ready to compete together.”

Johnson earned the top balance beam score, 16.200, for her routine that included a flip flop, flip flop layout series. She also scored a 16.200 for her floor exercise routine that included a double twisting, double back. Memmel ended her uneven bars routine with a jam to stuck double front dismount to score a 16.400, the top score of the night on any event. Sacramone’s 16.000 on her Rudi vault was the second day’s best vault score.

“I was pleased that I did better today,” Sacramone said. “I’m really happy that I made the squad and that I’m moving on.”

The high combined scores for individual events at the U.S. Olympic Team Trials – Gymnastics were: Sacramone on vault, 31.900; Liukin on uneven bars, 32.850; Johnson on balance beam, 32.450, and floor exercise, 32.300.

After two rotations, Liukin led the overall rankings with a 95.500, followed by Johnson in second at 95.250 and Memmel in third at 92.850. With her 16.200 on balance beam in the third rotation, Johnson moved into first place with a 111.450. Liukin dropped to second with a 110.950, and Memmel was third at 108.950.

Past sites for the U.S. Olympic Team Trials for gymnastics are: 2004, Anaheim, Calif.; 1996 and 2000, Boston; 1992, Baltimore, Md.; 1988, Salt Lake City, Utah; and 1980 and 1984, Jacksonville, Fla.

The U.S. Olympic Team Trials for all sports is a collaborative, three-way partnership between the U.S. Olympic Committee, the national governing bodies and the local organizing committees.

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