The USA Nationals are over and the men's team has been picked. Here they are:
Guillermo Alvarez of Denver, Team Chevron
Alexander Artemev of Morrison, Colo., Team Chevron
David Durante of Garwood, N.J., Team Chevron
Sean Golden, of Camden, N.J./Gattaca
Jonathan Horton of Houston, University of Oklahoma
Kevin Tan of Fremont, Calif., Team Chevron
team alternate: Sho Nakamori of Albany, Calif./Stanford University
May these talented, strong men do their best in Stuttgart at the 2007 World Championships in September. They have some work cut out for them. Last year at the Worlds, Team USA came in 13th place, and only the top 12 teams go on this year to next year's Olympic Games.
Paul Hamm, the current Olympic All-Around Champion, did compete in floor and pommel horse events at Nationals, and won floor. He hadn't competed since that fateful day in '04 when his vault slid him onto the judge's table and made him need a miraculously perfect bar routine to ace the All-Around. And nothing gets you more in the mood for hitting a perfect bar routine than standing in the largest arena of your life, with a billion or so people watching on TV, while boos rain down around your ears for 10 straight minutes. (Of course the boos were not for him but for the judges who reamed magnificent Russian gymnast Nemov's spectacular Swan Song performance with a ridiculously low score, but Hamm still had to stand there and soak it all in.)
Hamm says that he will be in top form for Beijing, and the team needs Olympian experience in the form of him and his brother Morgan. May their road to Beijing be smooth and free of injury (watch it yourself at ). Hamm is concerned that he will have to best his Athens performance to beat China's Yang Wei. At the VISA Nationals, he was already figuring that he might be starting at least a point less than Yang in start value.
First, the Worlds.