US Olympic Alternates Prepare, Hope for Opportunity

Brian Padden
LONDON — Some athletes who failed to qualify for their country's Olympic team still made it to London as part of the back-up squad, and will compete if the starters get injured, quit or are disqualified. Two alternate gymnasts practicing with the U.S. team have definite thoughts about the bittersweet experience of almost making the Olympic squad.

While Dacota Earnest, an 18-year-old from Texas, did not fulfill her Olympic dream, she still made it to London. She and Logan Dooley were selected as back-ups for the U.S. Olympic team's trampoline gymnasts, Savanah Vinsant and Steven Gluckstein, in the off chance they cannot compete.

“It's a little disappointing and sad at moments, but then again, I am here to support Savannah and it's an awesome experience and I'll be looking forward to 2016,” said Earnest.

Dooley is from California, and at age 24 is in the prime of his athletic career, He also was an alternate in the 2008 Beijing Olympic games.  He said the disappointment is perhaps greater the second time around.

“It is a difficult position to be in, especially since I lost out both times by very slim margins. But you know the experience, I can only look at it as positive and take it as what it is,” said Dooley.

Both say they try to stay positive and are rooting for the starters to do well in this sport, which has been dominated by China, Japan and Canada since it debuted at the 2000 Olympics. But Earnest's coach, Sherry Mulkey, said it is a great challenge to keep alternate Olympic athletes motivated when they know they likely will not get to compete.

“It's really hard keeping her spirits up and Logan's too, trying to be part of both of them and keeping them excited and thinking about the possibility," said Mulkey. "You've got to be ready no matter what, but yet... ” said Mulkey.

Barring unforeseen circumstances, Logan and Earnest will not compete in the London Olympics. But they will always know that they almost made the team - and perhaps next time their hard work will pay off.

  • Russia's Sergey Vodopiyanov, right, fights Brazil's Robenilson Vieira de Jesus, during their men's bantam 56-kg boxing match.
  • Great Britain's Heather Stanning and Helen Glover celebrate after winning the gold medal for the women's rowing pair in Eton Dorney.
  • Greece's Ilias Iliadis fights with Lithuania's Karolis Bauza (blue) during their men's -90kg elimination round of 16 judo match.
  • Britain's Emma Pooley waits to start in the women's cycling individual time trial.
  • Poland's Aleksandra Socha (R) competes against Canada's Sandra Sassine during their women's sabre individual round of 32 fencing competition at the ExCel venue.
  • China's Li Xiaoxia after being presented with her gold medal at the women's singles table tennis tournament finals.
  • Spectators watch the men's cycling individual time trial.
  • Mexico's Yahel Castillo and Julian Sanchez (top) perform their second dive during the men's synchronised 3m springboard final.
  • Marcel Nguyen of Germany competes in the horizontal bar during the men's individual all-around gymnastics final.
  • Netherlands' Dorian Van Rijsselberge sails before the third race of the men's RS-X sailing class at the London 2012 Olympic Games in Weymouth and Portland, southern England.
This forum has been closed.
Comment Sorting
Comments
     
by: Raymond Murdock from: Washignton DC
August 02, 2012 7:02 PM
Anything more important to rescue from the Olympics I need you to win
They are built isthmus, myths and man mark milestones. Other dazzled by deeds, seeking opportunities. Beyond the disciplines and what is not considered necessary this sacrifice. Michael Phelps goes through a path that of those who dream. Knowledgeable and equipped with constancy and perseverance that few have or dare to face. It is beyond the awards, prizes, of the banalities. The athlete conceived in the preparation, goes in search of a goal. It is the passing success. It is the merit of the effort and hard work for long. And in its final stretch before the start of the 200 meters x four looks at his companions and said: "To win you need to"

Featured Videos

Your JavaScript is turned off or you have an old version of Adobe's Flash Player. Get the latest Flash player.
Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalatesi
X
August 27, 2015 2:08 AM
Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Colombians Flee Venezuela as Border Crisis Escalates

Hundreds of Colombians have fled Venezuela since last week, amid an escalating border crisis between the two countries. Last week, Venezuelan President Nicolas Maduro ordered the closure of a key border crossing after smugglers injured three Venezuelan soldiers and a civilian. The president also ordered the deportation of Colombians who are in Venezuela illegally. Zlatica Hoke reports.
Video

Video Is China's Economic Data Accurate?

Some investors say China's wild stock market gyrations have been made worse by worries about the reliability of that nation's economic data. And some critics say the reports can mislead investors by painting an unrealistically-strong picture of the economy. A key China scholar says Beijing is not fudging ((manipulating)) the numbers, but that the economy is evolving quickly from smoke-stack industries to services, and the ways of tracking new economic activity are falling behind the change. V
Video

Video Next to Iran, Climate at Forefront of Obama Agenda

President Barack Obama this week announced new initiatives aimed at making it easier for Americans to access renewable energy sources such as solar and wind. Obama is not slowing down when it comes to pushing through climate change measures, an issue he says is the greatest threat to the country’s national security. VOA correspondent Aru Pande has more from the White House.
Video

Video Shipping Containers Provide Experimental Housing

Housing prices around the San Francisco Bay area are out of reach for many people, so some young entrepreneurs, artists and tech industry workers are creating their own houses using converted shipping containers. But as VOA's Mike O’Sullivan reports from Oakland, the effort requires ingenuity and dealing with restrictive local laws.
Video

Video Arctic Draws International Competition for Oil

A new geopolitical “Great Game” is underway in earth’s northernmost region, the Arctic, where Russia has claimed a large area for resource development and President Barack Obama recently approved Shell Oil Company’s test-drilling project in an area under U.S. control. Greg Flakus reports.
Video

Video Philippine Maritime Police: Chinese Fishermen a Threat to Country’s Security

China and the Philippines both claim maritime rights in the South China Sea.  That includes the right to fish in those waters. Jason Strother reports on how the Philippines is catching Chinese nationals it says are illegal poachers. He has the story from Palawan province.
Video

Video Technique May Eliminate Drill-and-Fill Dental Care

Many people dread visiting dentists because they're afraid of drills. Now, however, a technology developed by a British firm promises to eliminate the need for mechanical cleaning of dental cavities by speeding a natural process of tooth repair. VOA’s George Putic reports.
Video

Video China's Spratly Island Building Said to Light Up the Night 'Like A City'

Southeast Asian countries claim China has illegally seized territory in the Spratly islands. It is especially a concern for a Philippine mayor who says Beijing is occupying parts of his municipality. Jason Strother reports from the capital of Palawan province, Puerto Princesa.
Video

Video Ages-old Ice Reveals Secrets of Climate Change

Ice caps don't just exist at the world's poles. There are also tropical ice caps, and the largest sits atop the Peruvian Andes - but it is melting, quickly, and may be gone within the next 20 years. George Putic reports scientists are now rushing to take samples to get at the valuable information about climate change locked in the ice.
Video

Video French Experiment in Integrating Roma Under Threat

Plans to destroy France’s oldest slum have sparked an outcry on the part of its Roma residents. As Lisa Bryant reports from the Paris suburb of La Courneuve, rights groups argue the community is a fledgling experiment on integrating Roma who are often outcasts in many parts of Europe.
Video

Video Kenyans Turn to Agriculture for Business

Each year Kenyan universities continue to churn out graduates for the job market despite the already existing high rate of unemployment among youth in the country. Some of these young men and women have realized that agriculture can be as rewarding as any other business or job, and they are resorting to agribusiness in large numbers as a way of tackling unemployment. Rael Ombuor reports for VOA.
Video

Video First Women Graduate Elite Army Ranger School

Two women are making history for the U.S. Army by proving they are among the toughest of the tough. VOA's Carla Babb reports from Fort Benning, Georgia as 94 men and those two women rise as graduates of the difficult Ranger school.

VOA Blogs