INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., July 28, 2008 – Paul Hamm of Waukesha, Wis., today officially notified USA Gymnastics and the U.S. Olympic Committee that he was resigning from the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team for men’s gymnastics.
" have put my heart and soul into my comeback and done everything I could to get ready in time to compete in Beijing," said Hamm, who won the all-around title at the 2004 Olympic Games and is recovering from a broken hand. "After returning home from the preparation camp, I had a few physical setbacks, and it became clear to me that my physical preparations would not be sufficient to properly represent the United States and contribute to the team’s efforts to win a medal. I recently strained my rotator cuff and have been unable to perform all of my skills. I am very grateful to have been given the opportunity to make a comeback. At this point in time, the success of the team and fairness to the team, and the alternates, is most important. While I am very disappointed, I feel I can wait no longer to make this decision."
Hamm began his return to competitive gymnastics in August 2007 after a nearly three-year layoff after the 2004 Games to complete his education. In 2008, he won the all-around title at the Winter Cup Challenge, Tyson American Cup and Pacific Rim Championships presented by Gillette Venus. Hamm broke his fourth metacarpal on May 22 during the Visa Championships and successfully petitioned to the Olympic Team in June. He demonstrated his competitive readiness on July 19 to the men’s selection committee, and the men’s preparation camp concluded on July 22.
"We admire Paul for making this difficult decision," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. "Paul’s comeback this year has been phenomenal, made even more impressive following the injury to his hand. He has raised the level of determination among the entire team to put forth a medal winning effort in China. We respect his decision at this time, which is being made to serve the best interests of all of the athletes involved."