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.
    Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clownsi
    X
    February 09, 2016 8:04 PM
    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Valentine's Day Stinks for Lebanese Clowns

    This weekend, on Valentine's Day in Lebanon, love is not the only thing in the air. More than half a year after the country's trash crisis began, the stink of uncollected garbage remains on the streets. Step forward "Clown Me In," a group of clowns who use their skills for activism. Before the most romantic day of the year the clowns have released their unusual take on love in Lebanon -- in a bid to keep the pressure up and get the trash off the streets. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Rocky Year Ahead for Nigeria Amid Oil Price Crash

    The global fall in the price of oil has rattled the economies of many petroleum exporters, and Africa’s oil king Nigeria is no exception. As Chris Stein reports from Lagos, analysts are predicting a rough year ahead for the continent’s top producer of crude.
    Video

    Video Foreign Policy Weighs Heavy for Some US Voters

    VOA talks to protesters in Manchester, New Hampshire who sound off on foreign policy issues such as the Guantanamo Bay Prison, the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, Middle East Affairs and national security.
    Video

    Video 'No Means No' Program Targets Sexual Violence in Kenya

    The organizers of an initiative to reduce and stop rape in the informal settlements around Kenya's capital say their program is having marked success. Girls are taking self-defense classes while the boys are learning how to protect the girls and respect them. Lenny Ruvaga reports from Nairobi.
    Video

    Video New Hampshire Voters Are Independent, Mindful of History

    Once every four years, the northeastern state of New Hampshire becomes the center of the U.S. political universe with its first-in-the-nation presidential primary. What's unusual about New Hampshire is how seriously the voters take their role and the responsibility of being among the first to weigh in on the candidates.
    Video

    Video Chocolate Lovers Get a Sweet History Lesson

    Observed in many countries around the world, Valentine’s Day is sometimes celebrated with chocolate festivals. But at a festival near Washington, the visitors experience a bit more than a sugar rush. They go on a sweet journey through history. VOA’s June Soh takes us to the festival.
    Video

    Video 'Smart' Bandages Could Heal Wounds More Quickly

    Simple bandages are usually seen as the first line of attack in healing small to moderate wounds and burns. But scientists say new synthetic materials with embedded microsensors could turn bandages into a much more valuable tool for emergency physicians. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Bhutanese Refugees in New Hampshire Closely Watching Primary Election

    They fled their country and lived in refugee camps in neighboring Nepal for decades before being resettled in the northeastern U.S. state of New Hampshire -- now the focus of the U.S. presidential contest. VOA correspondent Aru Pande spoke with members of the Bhutanese community, including new American citizens, about the campaign and the strong anti-immigrant rhetoric of some of the candidates.
    Video

    Video Researchers Use 3-D Printer to Produce Transplantable Body Parts

    Human organ transplants have become fairly common around the world in the past few decades. Researchers at various universities are coordinating their efforts to find solutions -- including teams at the University of Pennsylvania and Rice University in Houston that are experimenting with a 3-D printer -- to make blood vessels and other structures for implant. As VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Houston, they are also using these artificial body parts to seek ways of defeating cancerous tumors.
    Video

    Video Helping the Blind 'See' Great Art

    There are 285 million blind and visually impaired people in the world who are unable to enjoy visual art at a museum. One New York photographer is trying to fix this situation by making tangible copies of the world’s masterpieces. VOA correspondent Victoria Kupchinetsky was there as visually impaired people got a feel for great art. Joy Wagner narrates her report.
    Video

    Video German Artists to Memorialize Refugees With Life Jacket Exhibit

    Sold in every kind of shop in some Turkish port towns, life jackets have become a symbol of the refugee crisis that brought a million people to Europe in 2015.  On the shores of Lesbos, Greece, German artists collect discarded life jackets as they prepare an art installation they plan to display in Germany.  For VOA, Hamada Elrasam has this report from Lesbos, Greece.
    Video

    Video E-readers Help Ease Africa's Book Shortage

    Millions of people in Africa can't read, and there's a chronic shortage of books. A non-profit organization called Worldreader is trying to help change all that one e-reader at a time. VOA’s Deborah Block tells us about a girls' school in Nairobi, Kenya where Worldreader is making a difference.
    Video

    Video Genius Lets World Share Its Knowledge

    Inspired by crowdsourcing companies like Wikipedia, Genius allows anyone to edit anything on the web, using its web annotation tool
    Video

    Video In Philippines, Mixed Feelings About Greater US Military Presence

    In the Philippines, some who will be directly affected by a recent Supreme Court decision clearing the way for more United States troop visits are having mixed reactions.  The increased rotations come at a time when the Philippines is trying to build up its military in the face of growing maritime assertiveness from China.  From Bahile, Palawan on the coast of the South China Sea, Simone Orendain has this story.