It's that time, guys. The Olympics is upon us, and Michael Phelps is everywhere on the friends page. Well, I thought it was time to change things up a little bit. Seeing as how these girls will hopefully become household names in a week or so, I thought it would be okay to do a post to introduce the girls that will hopefully be on your box of Wheaties. For those of you that aren't interested, I've provided a cut!
NASTIA LIUKIN, 18
Best known for: 9 World Medals, 2 time National Champion with countless event medals to boost. She's famous for her bar routine, and came in second by .001 of a point to Chellsie Memmel during the All Around for World's in 2005. She and her dad (her coach) famously threw a bitch fest in which Valeri apparently called Chellsie fat and told Andy Memmel (Chellsie's dad and coach) that Chellsie had stolen what was rightfully Nastia's. She was also in the movie Stick It.
ALICIA SACRAMONE, 20
Best known for: Being the team leader. Oh, and punching a guy on youtube. She's known as an event specialist, which means she doesn't compete on all four of the women's events, so you won't see her on the uneven bars. Also, she threw a bitch fest of her own when Shawn Johnson beat her on the floor exercise finals at last years Worlds and was still pouting about it hours later.
CHELLSIE MEMMEL, 20
Best known for: World All Around Champion in 2005. She almost made it to the Athens Olympics, but a hurt foot got in her way, which is the story of Chellsie's life. She's been injured almost every year since she's been a senior, and she sat out last year because of a bad shoulder injury. She also suffered an ankle injury during training this week, so her status is still unknown. See Nastia Liukin for drama surrounding Chellsie Memmel.
BRIDGET SLOAN, 16
Best known for: Being the alternate at last year's World Championships. She's the youngest member of the team, with the least international experience. It will be interesting to see where the team utilizes her. Last year, Team USA sat out its weakest member in finals, and that may be the case with Bridget this year, unless Chellsie really is hurt.
SAMANTHA PESZEK, 16
Best known for: Being Alicia Sacramone's BFF. She's a consistent gymnast, and while she doesn't have a standout event, she doesn't have a weak one either. The most drama she's stirred up is riling up people on gymnastics message boards for talking smack about some boy that didn't text her good luck while in front of the NBC cameras.
SHAWN JOHNSON, 16
Best known for: 2 time national champion, current World All Around Champion. Shawn is tiny and powerful, but is known for her lack of flexibility. She's always smiling, which creeps some people out, and she's a bit notorious for making overconfident comments at times which don't even make sense (i.e., claiming that the US will sweep the All Around medals at the Olympics, which isn't even possible anymore). People try to stir up a rivalry between Shawn and Nastia, but the two of them insist that they are very good friends.
Shawn Johnson in PEOPLE magazine.
Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin, Chellsie Memmel, and Alicia Sacramone in Vogue earlier this year.
Alicia Sacramone on this month's cover of The Improper Bostonian
Nastia Liukin in Glamour Magazine
-Source for Team & Individual pics: http://lblgymnastics.com/?page_id=462
-Source for Shawn in People: My own scans.
-Source for Vogue picture: http://janghwahongryeon.vox.com/library/post/alicia-chellsie-nastia-and-shawn-in-vogue.html
-Source for Nastia in Glamour Mag: http://www.glamour.com/health/articles/2008/07/greatest_bodies_on_earth?currentPage=4
-Source for Alicia on the cover of Improper Bostonian: http://www.improper.com (Mods, it's on the front page, hence why not a big link)