Updates, USA Gymnastics meet results

Tokyo all-around gold medalist Sonny Lee returns, and the Olympic season officially begins at the Winter Cup.

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Let the Olympic year officially begin!

Saturday's Winter Cup not only marks the return of Sonny Lee, it kicks off an all-important season that will culminate in this summer's Paris Olympics. More than 30 women are competing in the Winter Cup, which serves as a qualifier for the national championships. At least 12 national-level gymnasts will qualify for the Olympic qualifiers, where a five-woman team will be selected.

The Paris Games start on July 26.

But that's getting a little ahead of ourselves. Let's focus on the Winter Cup for now.

When is the USA Gymnastics Winter Championships held?

Ladies meeting from 1 to 3:30 pm on Saturday.

How to watch USA Gymnastics Winter Cup

You will need your own computer. Or your phone. The Winter Cup is only available at USA Gymnastics YouTube channel.

After looking so good in training, Sunny Lee acquired the skill she hoped to call her own.

Lee does a release move where she launches herself from the top bar and does a full twisting forward somersault in a set position before grabbing the bar again. I did it at least twice on Friday in podium practice and once during warm-ups on Saturday. But she hit the upper bar with her hands and was unable to catch it, so she fell to the carpet.

She fell again in her routine, one of two she does at the Winter Cup, and scored an 11.8.

Pan American Games all-around champion Kayla DiCillo is halfway to another title.

DiCello leads the Winter Cup after two events with 28.250 points, recording the highest scores to date on both vault (14.2) and floor exercise (14.050). She is 0.70 points ahead of Sky Blakely, who was part of the American team that won the title at the last two world championships.

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Trinity Thomas is third with 27.25 points, while U.S. junior champion Haasley Rivera, making her debut here, is fourth with 26.75 points.

Trinity Thomas certainly doesn't look rusty.

The Winter Cup is Thomas's first elite-level competition since 2019, and he opened with 14.050 for an impressive uneven bars routine. This tied Kayla DiCillo's score on floor exercise for the highest in the first round.

Thomas hasn't been on her couch for the past five years. She was a standout at Florida, winning the Honda Award as the nation's top collegiate gymnast in both 2022 and 2023. She also shares the NCAA record for perfect 10.0 seconds, with 28.

Sky Blakely, the favorite to win the all-around title after being part of the American teams that won gold at the last two World Championships, has some ground to make up after falling in her first event, on uneven bars. Blakely was doing a back release from the low bar to the high bar and couldn't catch the bar. The crowd gasped when she hit the carpet.

Blakely scored 13.050 points — her routine is worth 5.8 points — but she will likely need to excel in her remaining four events and get some help from some of the other gymnasts.

A warm welcome to Sonny Lee at the Winter Cup

Not surprisingly, reigning Olympic champion Sonny Lee got the loudest cheers during the introduction.

Lee has always been one of the main attractions at the Winter Cup and now, with Gabby Douglas withdrawing, she is the center of attention. It's her first meet since she had to withdraw from the World Team selection camp in September due to a kidney disease that limited her training.

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Perhaps the second loudest cheer was for Trinity Thomas, who returns to competing at the elite level for the first time since 2019. Thomas was a college standout at Florida. There was also a standing ovation for Kayla DiCillo, who won the all-around title along with a team gold medal at the Pan American Games last fall.

Sonny Lee does two events at the Winter Cup, uneven bars and balance beam. Because of the way the draw worked, she will not participate in either of the first two sessions, which should take about an hour.

Her first event will be bars, the last competition in the group of eight gymnasts. This means you should expect to see it around 2:45 PM ET. On beam, she is the second gymnast in the second half of the course. Or around 3:15 p.m

Will Simone Biles compete in the Winter Cup?

Simone Biles will not compete in the Winter Cup.

She actually qualified for the national championships as a member of the world team last year — the Winter Cup is a qualifier for nationals — and doesn't usually start her competitive season this early. Look for it at the US Classic, which will be held May 18 in Hartford, Connecticut.

What happened to Gabby Douglas?

Gabby Douglas, the 2012 Olympic champion, was returning to competition for the first time in nearly eight years at the Winter Cup. But she announced Thursday afternoon that she was He tested positive for COVID and will not be able to compete.

“I was so excited to be back in the competition arena but unfortunately I just tested positive for coronavirus :('…I'm devastated but I'll see you guys') Douglas wrote in part in an Instagram post.

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It's a shooting action on uneven bars called a fully twisted Geiger. Lee launches herself from the top bar and does a full twisting forward somersault into a set position before grabbing the bar again. She hopes to go to the World Cup finals in Baku next month. If Lee does the skill there, it will be named after her.

Do men compete in the Winter Gymnastics Cup?

Yes. Shane Weskus leads fellow Tokyo Olympian Jule Moldauer by 0.4 points after the first day of the two-day competition. Wiskus scored 84.450 points and was in the top three in three of the six events. 14.550 was the highest score of the day in floor exercise.

“I had a really fun time today and I just hope to have more fun on Sunday. Then have more fun at the (US) Championships and keep that momentum going,” Wiskos said. “I think a lot of my career has been focused on and committed to performance goals and outcome goals and all that stuff. The last two meets are just for me and me.”

Moldauer was also in the top three in three of the six events but was injured by a fall near the end of his pommel horse routine.

The second day is Sunday.

Two-time U.S. champion Brody Malone, who returned from a serious knee injury last year, competed in three events: pommel horse, still rings and parallel bars. He had the third highest score of the day on the p bars and was fifth on the pommel horse.

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