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.
    Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolatei
    X
    July 29, 2016 4:02 PM
    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Ivorian Chocolate Makers Promote Locally-made Chocolate

    Ivory Coast is the world's top producer of cocoa but hardly any of it is processed into chocolate there. Instead, the cocoa is sent abroad to chocolate makers in Europe and elsewhere. This is a general problem throughout Africa – massive exports of raw materials but few finished goods. As Emilie Iob reports from Abidjan, several Ivorian entrepreneurs are working to change that formula - 100 percent Ivorian chocolate bar at a time.
    Video

    Video Tesla Opens Battery-Producing Gigafactory

    Two years after starting to produce electric cars, U.S. car maker Tesla Motors has opened the first part of its huge battery manufacturing plant, which will eventually cover more than a square kilometer. Situated close to Reno, Nevada, the so-called Gigafactory will eventually produce more lithium-ion batteries than were made worldwide in 2013. VOA's George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Polio-affected Afghan Student Fulfilling Her Dreams in America

    Afghanistan is one of only two countries in the world where children still get infected by polio. The other is Pakistan. Mahbooba Akhtarzada who is from Afghanistan, was disabled by polio, but has managed to overcome the obstacles caused by this crippling disease. VOA's Zheela Nasari caught up with Akhtarzada and brings us this report narrated by Bronwyn Benito.
    Video

    Video Hillary Clinton Promises to Build a 'Better Tomorrow'

    Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton urged voters Thursday not to give in to the politics of fear. She vowed to unite the country and move it forward if elected in November. Clinton formally accepted the Democratic Party's nomination at its national convention in Philadelphia. VOA national correspondent Jim Malone has more.
    Video

    Video Trump Tones Down Praise for Russia

    Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump is toning down his compliments for Russia and Vladimir Putin as such rhetoric got him in trouble recently. After calling on Russia to find 30.000 missing emails from rival Hillary Clinton, Trump told reporters he doesn't know Putin and never called him a great leader, just one who's better than President Barack Obama. Putin has welcomed Trump's overtures, but, as Zlatica Hoke reports, ordinary Russians say they are not putting much faith in Trump.
    Video

    Video Uganda Unveils its First Solar-powered Bus

    A solar-powered bus described by its Ugandan makers as the first in Africa has made its public debut. Kiira Motors' electric bus, Kayoola, displayed recently at a stadium in Uganda's capital. From Kampala, Maurice Magorane filed this report narrated by Salem Solomon.
    Video

    Video Silicon Valley: More Than A Place, It's a Culture

    Silicon Valley is a technology powerhouse and a place that companies such as Google, Facebook and Apple call home. It is a region in northern California that stretches from San Francisco to San Jose. But, more than that, it's known for its startup culture. VOA's Elizabeth Lee went inside one company to find out what it's like to work in a startup.
    Video

    Video Immigrant Delegate Marvels at Democratic Process

    It’s been a bitter and divisive election season – but first time Indian-American delegate Dr. Shashi Gupta headed to the Democratic National Convention with a sense of hope. VOA’s Katherine Gypson followed this immigrant with the love of U.S. politics all the way to Philadelphia.
    Video

    Video Dutch Entrepreneurs Turn Rainwater Into Beer

    June has been recorded as one of the wettest months in more than a century in many parts of Europe. To a group of entrepreneurs in Amsterdam the rain came as a blessing, as they used the extra water to brew beer. Serginho Roosblad has more to the story.
    Video

    Video Commerce Thrives on US-Mexico Border

    At the Democratic Convention in Philadelphia this week, the party’s presumptive presidential nominee, Hillary Clinton, is expected to attack proposals made by her opponent, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump, to build a wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Last Friday, President Barack Obama hosted his Mexican counterpart, President Enrique Peña Nieto, to underscore the good relations between the two countries. VOA’s Greg Flakus reports from Tucson.
    Video

    Video Film Helps Save Ethiopian Children Thought to be Cursed

    'Omo Child' looks at effort of African man to stop killings of ‘mingi’ children
    Video

    Video London’s Financial Crown at Risk as Rivals Eye Brexit Opportunities

    By most measures, London rivals New York as the only true global financial center. But Britain’s vote to leave the European Union – so-called ‘Brexit’ – means the city could lose its right to sell services tariff-free across the bloc, risking its position as Europe’s financial headquarters. Already some banks have said they may shift operations to the mainland. Henry Ridgwell reports from London.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora