Rio 2016: U.S. women’s gymnastics team

To mark the forthcoming 2016 Olympic and Paralympic Games, the first ever held in South America, we take a look at Team USA women’s gymnastics team.

The current gymnastics team is said to be one of the strongest in history and looks set to repeat the success of  the ‘Fierce Five’ who dominated the medals table in London 2012, and the ‘Magnificent Seven’ from Atlanta 1996 who were the first gold-winning U.S. women’s gymnastics team.

madison kocian
Madison Kocian competes on the balance beam on June 24 in St.Louis. (© AP Images)

Gabby Douglas became an all-around gymnastics champion in 2012. She is the first defending all-around champion to return to the Olympic Games since Romanian Nadia Comaneci in 1980.

Aly Raisman, of Massachusetts,  won the most medals of all the American gymnasts in 2012 – two golds and a bronze. She’s a promoter of Special Olympics, the world’s biggest sports organization for children and adults with learning disabilities.

Texan native Simone Biles is currently the top gymnast in the world – a title she has held for the past three years. She is a medal favorite and the first woman to have won 10 world gold medals. Her expertise lies in the vault, balance beam and floor exercise.

Madison Kocian (pictured) is the current uneven bar world champion and Laurie Hernandez from New Jersey will be the first U.S.-born Hispanic athlete to make the U.S. women’s gymnastics team since 1984.

The alternates are Ashton Locklear, of North Carolina,  MyKayla Skinner, of Arizona,  and Ragan Smith, of Texas.