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Aly Raisman, Chris Brooks named captains of U.S. Olympic gymnastics teams

Chris Brooks and Aly Raisman
USA Today Sports

Aly Raisman, Chris Brooks named captains of U.S. Olympic gymnastics teams

Both gymnasts are the oldest members of their respective teams

Aly Raisman will serve as the captain of the U.S. women's gymnastics team for the second straight Olympics, while Chris Brooks will lead the men's team in his Olympic debut. Raisman, 22, and Brooks, 29, are the oldest members of their respective teams. 

The team captains are chosen by a vote by each five-athlete squad.

 
Both before and after her comeback to gymnastics competition in 2015, Raisman has been the defacto leader of the women's program. Gabby Douglas, Raisman's teammate in 2012 and 2016, remembered a moment from the London team final where she badly needed a pep talk.
 
"I would have to say the moment that really stood out to me was beam," Douglas said, "and they put me up on beam, I was just so nervous. I looked at Aly and I was like, 'Aly, I don't think I can do this. I need to tell someone that they need to put somebody else in,' and I was so nervous. She's like, 'Gabby, shut up! You've been fine, your beam has been solid in training, just go out there and don't think about it, don't stress yourself out.' I'm like, 'Okay, okay.'"
 
The five members of the U.S. women's gymnastics team are Raisman, Douglas, Simone Biles, Laurie Hernandez and Madison Kocian.
 
The other gymnasts jokingly call Raisman "Grandma Aly" for her age and love of napping.
 
 
On the men's side, three of the five members are returning Olympians—but not Brooks. He was an alternate in 2012 and missed the 2013 and 2014 World Championships due to injuries. He was named an alternate again for the 2015 Worlds team, but was then added to the team last-minute when Sam Mikulak injured his ankle and had to withdraw. 
 
Over the course of the two Olympic selection events in June 2016, Brooks proved to be the most consistent man in the field. He hit 24 out of 24 routines with no major mistakes, and finished second in the all-around at both Olympic Trials and P&G Championships. 
 
 
The other members of the team are Mikulak, Jake Dalton, Alex Naddour and Danell Leyva (who was promoted from alternate to team member after John Orozco tore his ACL at the Olympic training camp). 
 

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Aimee Boorman, the personal coach of Biles, will serve as the women's team's head coach, with Mihai Brestyan, Raisman's coach, as the assistant. It will be Boorman's first Olympic appearance, while Brestyan coached Raisman at the 2012 Games and Alicia Sacramone at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
 
 
Mark Williams, the men's gymnastics head coach of University of Oklahoma, was named the head coach of the men's Olympic team. Brooks, Dalton and Naddour all competed collegiately at Oklahoma. Williams was an assistant coach on the 1996 Olympic team and was a personal coach of gymnasts at the 2004, 2008 and 2012 Olympics, but Rio will be his first time serving as the head coach. 
 
"I am honored," Williams told Sooner Sports. "It’s amazing to be in a position to lead any team at the Olympic Games, and I feel we are very fortunate to have athletes that have been part of the Olympic process in the past. I’m excited about this team. I think we have a tremendous opportunity in Rio and I’m looking forward to the journey."
 

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