Qualifying for the Olympic Trials is taking place this weekend at the Visa Championships in St. Louis, and 16-year-old Gabrielle Douglas is hoping to be one of the 15 women who make it.
Douglas, who trains at Chow's Gymnastics in West Des Moines, Iowa, is looking to impress coach Martha Karolyi, who will pick the US Olympic Gymnastics team after the Trials take place in San Jose in July.
Douglas is already a master on the uneven bars (her excellent performance at the Pacific Rim Women's Gymnastics Championships in March is seen above), but she has struggled with the vault. She twisted her ankle on her dismount at the Pacific Rim Championships in March, and she skipped the event at the U.S. Classic in Chicago last month. That could be a serious impediment concerning her hopes of being one of the five members on the Olympics team.
Karolyi says she won't take gymnasts who are only specialists at one event, but she seems optimistic about Douglas' chance of making the team.
"As we think about her start values and possible scores that she can get, they are very high, absolutely," Karolyi said, according to the Des Moines Register. "So now what we want to see, she handles the situations and she's able to perform those routines and, as she is successful and performs repeatedly, then her confidence level will be bigger and bigger."
Making the team won't be easy for Douglas; one of her main competitors -- and teammates -- is Nastia Liukin, who won gold in the all-around at the 2008 Games in Beijing.
- Gabrielle Douglas