Everyone knew this was coming but only a select few people liked the idea.
Gabby Douglas is on the 2016 US Olympic Team.
NBC had their projected team finals scenario posted right before and on their projection they only had Gabby Douglas doing bars in team finals. So why take her and leave Ashton Locklear home?
Well I can spend a lot of time talking about why Gabby is a good backup on all events, but honestly that isn’t the reason she’s going. The reason she’s going is because of who she is. And that’s not necessarily Gabby’s fault. But the idea of having the reigning Olympic all-around champion competing in Rio is a wonderful thing for USA Gymnastics, the US Olympic Committee, and the International Olympic Committee. Something that hasn’t been done since Nadia Comaneci competed at the 1980 Olympic Games. Gabby has already been getting a huge amount of press and media in her comeback, landing on the cover of Teen Vogue with Simone, being in commercials for her sponsors, and starring in her own reality show.
This is something that Gabby brings to the team that Ashton Locklear does not. And unfortunately marry this with the fact that Ashton cannot do vault or floor, and you have all the reasoning needed as to why Gabby deserves to be on this team, as much as anyone might not like it.
As for the conversation that Mykayla Skinner should be on the team instead of Gabby – that makes sense when you think of the projected prelim lineups at the moment. Most people think that Aly Raisman and Laurie Hernandez deserve a chance to do all-around in Rio’s prelims due to their performances throughout the selection process. And most think that seventh place Gabby Douglas should not get that chance. That would mean leaving Gabby Douglas off of bars in prelims. But if you leave her off of bars in prelims, what’s the point in bringing her? Mykayla Skinner can score higher than her on vault and floor and Madison Kocian could do beam in prelims if needed.
The problem with this, other than the promotional ideas I’ve already stated, is that if an injury happens to Simone, Laurie, and Madison in the middle of the games, one of either Aly or Mykayla would have to do bars in team finals which is definitely not ideal and could be something that would cost the US team gold.
It’s just a sad situation when Gabby states in an interview that she doesn’t enjoy competing as much as she used to, when we all know Ashton or Mykayla would enjoy the idea of competing in Rio a lot more. And I think this is where a lot of the anger towards Gabby is coming from at the moment.