Bridget Sloan?!

Yes, Bridget Sloan.

The 16-year-old from the relatively unknown Sharp’s Gymnastics in Pittsboro, Ind. has made the U.S. Olympic team.

Bridget Sloan

Sloan was probably the biggest surprise of the six-member team, named today, which includes Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin, Alicia Sacramone, Chellsie Memmel and Samantha Peszek. Johnson and Liukin were technically confirmed for the team after going 1-2 at the Olympic Trials, and it was widely assumed that Memmel, Sacramone and Peszek had locked up their spots as well.

Alternates are Ivana Hong, Jana Bieger and new senior Corrie Lothrop, whose big skill is reportedly an Amanar vault.

Bieger, the all-around silver medalist from the 2006 World Championships, was thought to be putting a stranglehold on the sixth spot after hitting all of her routines at the U.S. Championships, but was eliminated after falling on uneven bars during both days of competition.

Bars will be a critical event for the U.S. during the Games. Liukin and Memmel have world class routines, but a third bars specialist was needed to round out the team.

The spot could (and likely would) have gone to Shayla Worley, had she not fractured her leg during the first day of competition Saturday at the Karolyi ranch in New Waverly, Texas.

That left things wide open for Sloan, a self-described all-around gymnast who can be a tad wobbly on beam but doesn’t have a real weak event. Sloan was third on uneven bars at the U.S. Championships only a few months after having surgery for a torn meniscus.

With her clean lines and nice movements, something commentators refer to as an “international look,” she’ll be a good tablesetter for the team. Certainly better than Bieger, who had big skills but messy form, or Hong, who has good variety and wonderful form but lacks consistency.

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9 Responses to “Bridget Sloan?!”

  1. Carlin Says:

    what’s with the “international look” thing. i don’t see it

    her feet are just as bad as jana’s (if not worse) but at least jana knows how to do a handstand

  2. Georgia Says:

    How is anyone surprised that Bridget made it over Jana? Bridget was injured and still beat Jana more than half the time on bars…and how could you bring Jana to China as a “bars specialist”? Isn’t that sort of ironic in a negative way?

  3. Vince Says:

    I think its great Bridget made the team, but I think its hilarious that the reporter talks about her having an international look and how Jana had messy form on bars – look at the picture of Bridget in this article – her feet are practically flexed. You’d think whoever wrote the article would choose a better picture to support their argument.

  4. kas Says:

    International look, does anyone remember courtney mccool, they said that about her. At the last olympics, she completely screwed up at the olmpics. She beat out Holly Vise. In the end, the team could have really used Holly on Beam. I am shocked that Bieger is not in.

  5. Ali Says:

    Jana is a sloppy Level 10 at best, only got this far because of her pushy mother, hope they don’t need her as an alternate…embarrasing for US

  6. DHobbs Says:

    Lets see ou go to the olympics and compete! hmmm Bridget workd her butt off everyday she is in the gym so if anybody desreved to go it was Bridget!!!!

  7. gymnast46 Says:

    im sure jana worked her butt off at the gym as well..
    and despite her maybe not so great form she has a silver medal in the world allaround from ’06 that says she can contend at a world level…
    i love bridget but i really felt like jana would have don well for the team too .

  8. Franco Mendonca Says:

    I really enjoy the article. Awesome.

  9. Taisha Hibbitts Says:

    Fantastic article post. Really Cool.

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