As the 2024 U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Team Trials unfold in dramatic fashion, unforeseen challenges have reshaped the landscape of contenders vying for spots on the Olympic team. 

In just a matter of days the U.S. team lost several top contenders, starting with 2024 U.S. national all-around silver medalist Skye Blakely, who injured her Achilles in the practice session leading up to the competition. Then at the start of the competition, in the very first rotation, 2024 Winter Cup champion Kayla DiCello went down on vault. It was later revealed to be another Achilles injury. 

Adding to the uncertainty, the withdrawal of six-time world medalist Shilese Jones, whose injury status is unknown, could completely shift the spotlight onto a new wave of gymnasts – perhaps some that were not initially favored to make the team coming into Trials. 

Here’s a look at some of the emerging talent that could seize the moment and step directly into the spotlight. 

Leanne Wong

The 20-year-old gymnast from Overland Park, Kansas has long been recognized in gymnastics circles, but prior to the Trials, she was largely seen as a contender for an alternate position. However, Leanne Wong, who served as an alternate at the Tokyo Olympics, has now emerged as a formidable candidate for the team, largely due to her capability to contribute in any event during team finals. Wong stands out as the most seasoned athlete among the new contenders, boasting two team world gold medals from 2022 and 2023, as well as individual world silver and bronze medals (in the all-around and on floor exercise) from 2021. Wong trains at the University of Florida where she is a star of the program’s gymnastics team, in addition to being a pre-med student and the owner of her own business, Leanne Wong Bowtique. 

Tiana Sumanasekera

Tiana Sumanasekera is a rising star who just may have peaked at the right time. The 16-year-old trains in Texas with Simone Biles and could be of value to the U.S. on balance beam and floor exercise - an event where she recently won a bronze medal at the U.S. Championships. Sumanasekera made her senior international debut at the 2023 Pan American Championships, where she won three gold medals (team, all-around and beam) and a silver on floor. Committed to join the gymnastics team at UCLA in 2026, Sumanasekera hasn’t ruled out making a run for LA 2028 either. Notably, if Sumanasekera makes the team, she will become the first U.S. Olympic gymnast with Sri Lankan heritage. 

Hezly Rivera

Sixteen-year-old Hezly Rivera has made a remarkable debut at the senior elite level, positioning herself strongly for a spot on Team USA. After winning the all-around title in the junior division at the 2023 U.S. Championships, Rivera exceeded expectations with a sixth-place finish in her first senior-level championship. Her difficulty value and execution on uneven bars and balance beam, where she placed fourth and fifth, respectively, at nationals, highlights her potential to bolster the U.S. team. Rivera trains at WOGA in Plano, Texas, renowned for producing Olympic gold medalists Carly PattersonNastia Liukin, and Madison Kocian.

Kaliya Lincoln

Also hailing from WOGA - although she trains at the Frisco location instead of Plano – is Kaliya Lincoln. The 18-year-old from Texas has proven to be a star on the floor exercise, where she won a silver medal behind Biles last year at nationals and won a gold medal at the Pan American Games a few weeks later. Although the U.S. has several strong candidates on the floor, Lincoln has kept her name in the mix thanks to her high-scoring potential. Lincoln will soon be leaving for Baton Rouge as she is set to join the reigning national champion LSU Tigers for the 2025 season, but could make a stop in Paris first. 

Also, a little fun fact, Lincoln appeared on the TV show Undercover Boss: Celebrity Edition when she was just 11-years-old. The show centered around a wannabe gym owner – who turned out to be three-time Olympic gold medalist Gabby Douglas in disguise – who traveled to various gyms to witness the rising talent around the country. 

Joscelyn Roberson

Joscelyn Roberson, another training partner of Biles, made a big splash last season when she became the U.S. national vault champion and qualified to her first world championship team. Although Roberson, age 18, was a member of the gold medal-winning team, she was unable to compete due to an ankle injury sustained in the warm up. However, the future Arkansas Razorback mounted a tremendous comeback in a race against the clock and currently sits third on beam, fifth on floor and fifth all-around after the first day of Trials. With another strong day of competition, Roberson could hear her name called as a member of the Paris Olympic team.