The inaugural Youth Olympics, to be held in Singapore in August, promised to showcase the best junior talent in the world, but the women's gymnastics competition apparently will lack at least one big name. According to a USA Gymnastics representative, the U.S. will send only a male gymnast, who will be selected at a junior training camp later this month.
Jordyn Wieber, who is coached by John Geddert at Twistars USA in Michigan, was the likely candidate to represent the U.S. at the Youth Olympics, which requires female gymnasts to be born in 1995. (Male gymnasts must be born from 1993-94.)
Various factors contributed to USAG's decision to decline, but the main issue was the limited amount of coaching credentials available to the U.S. gymnastics delegation.
In a cost-cutting measure, the U.S.O.C. allotted only three coaching credentials to USA Gymnastics: one each for artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline. That would mean only one coach could accompany the U.S. male and female gymnasts. The U.S. qualified one rhythmic gymnast and one male trampolinist.
"The coach thing ... that was the final straw," Geddert told IG.
Geddert says he was unable to get a variety of questions answered about the competition, such as whether or not special junior rules would be implemented in Singapore.
"We ran into [junior rules] at Pacific [Rim championships], and that was a last-minute thing," he said.
Wieber still won the Pacific Rim all-around, scoring 59.550 without certain skills, such as an Amanar vault. And unless something changes by July 15, when national Olympic committees must submit their nominative registrations, fans will not see a showdown between Wieber and Russia's Viktoria Komova, who qualified to Singapore via the 2010 European junior championships, where she scored a winning 58.375.