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U.S. Gymnastics Seek First Team Medal Since 1984
August 16, 2004

On Monday, August 16, the U.S. men's gymnastics team will be fighting for its first team gold medal in the history of the Olympics.  They finished second after Saturday's qualifying rounds, only behind China.  Oklahoma assistant coach Guard Young performed well in his first Olympics and is penciled in on three events for Monday's finals.  He will perform on the floor exercise, still rings and vault.  The competition gets underway at 8:30 p.m. in Athens (12:30 p.m., CST) and will be broadcast in primetime on NBC tonight, starting at 7 p.m. (CST).  Click here for television listings.

On Saturday, during the preliminaries, Young started things off for the U.S. Team with a 9.637 on parallel bars.  He also posted a 9.700 on the floor exercise, 9.212 on pommel horse, 9.612 on still rings and a 9.450 on vault.    His 9.700 on floor on Saturday was good enough to qualify for the individual event finals.  However,  Olympic rules restrict countries from having more than two athletes participate in event finals. Paul and Morgan Hamm will represent the U.S. during event finals.

Guard Young Olympic Central

It is said that this year's team is the strongest since the last time a representative from OU was on the team in 1984, Bart Conner.  Paul Hamm and his twin brother, Morgan, lead the way for the Americans. Winning the gold won't be easy for the Americans. China and Russia, the last two team champions at the Olympics, stand as the toughest competition. The other team finalists are Japan, Romania, Ukraine, Korea and Germany. The tentative U.S. team's lineup is listed below with alternates also listed.

 FX

PH
SR
VT
PB

HB

Young

McClure
Young
Young
Wilson

McClure

M. Hamm

M. Hamm

Gatson

M. Hamm

P.Hamm

M. Hamm

P. Hamm

P. Hamm

Wilson

P. Hamm

Gatson

P. Hamm

Gatson-alt.

Gatson-alt.

P. Hamm-alt.

McClure-alt.

McClure-alt.

Wilson-alt.

Young responded to some questions after his performance on Saturday night in the latest Q&A session from SoonerSports.

>> SoonerSports:
How did you feel about your performance during the prelims?

Guard:
I felt like I did a really good job for myself.  However, as a team we had some mistakes.  This entire time our main goal was to get into team finals, and we have.  I believe that it is better for a team to struggle a little the first day in order to stay more focused and sharp for the next competition.

>>SoonerSports:
How do you feel about the team's chances going into the finals?

Guard:
I only worry about "Control."  And right now, we have control over our routines and staying together as a team.  We are not worried about where we are going to finish.

>>SoonerSports:
What was your reaction to competing in your first Olympics and were you taken back at all by all the excitement?

Guard:
When I first got to Athens I had some doubts that maybe I did not deserve to be on this Olympic team. But now after today's competition, I have proven, not only to everybody but more importantly myself, that I deserve to be in this situation.

>>SoonerSports:
Was it at all weird waking up Saturday morning knowing you would be competing in the Olympics?

Guard:
I think the hardest part of all this was killing time.  Once I got to the arena and the competition that's what felt natural to me.

>>SoonerSports:
What has been your most memorable moment so far?

Guard:
The most memorable moment so far for me has to be when I led the team off on parallel bars during the prelims on Saturday .  I was able to hit a good routine and score over 9.6 and I think that is all I could ask for in my first Olympics.

 

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