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.
    Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Eitheri
    X
    Jim Malone
    June 29, 2016 6:16 PM
    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Clinton Leads Trump, But Many Voters Don't Like Either

    In the U.S. presidential race, most recent polls show Democrat Hillary Clinton with a steady lead over Republican Donald Trump as both presumptive party nominees prepare for their party conventions next month. Trump’s disapproval ratings have risen in some recent surveys, but Clinton also suffers from high negative ratings, suggesting both candidates have a lot of work to do to improve their images before the November election. VOA National correspondent Jim Malone has more from Washington.
    Video

    Video Slow Rebuilding Amid Boko Haram Destruction in Nigeria’s Northeast

    Military operations have chased Boko Haram out of towns and cities in Nigeria’s northeast since early last year. But it is only recently that people have begun returning to their homes in Adamawa state, near the border with Cameroon, to try to rebuild their lives. For VOA, Chris Stein traveled to the area and has this report.
    Video

    Video New US Ambassador to Somalia Faces Heavy Challenges

    The new U.S. envoy to Somalia, who was sworn into office Monday, will be the first American ambassador to that nation in 25 years. He will take up his post as Somalia faces a number of crucial issues, including insecurity, an upcoming election, and the potential closure of the Dadaab refugee camp in Kenya. VOA’s Jill Craig asked Somalis living in Kenya’s capital city Nairobi how they feel about the U.S. finally installing a new ambassador.
    Video

    Video At National Zoo, Captivating Animal Sculptures Illustrate Tragedy of Ocean Pollution

    The National Zoo in Washington, D.C., is home to about 1,800 animals, representing 300 species. But throughout the summer, visitors can also see other kinds of creatures there. They are larger-than-life animal sculptures that speak volumes about a global issue — the massive plastic pollution in our oceans. VOA's June Soh takes us to the zoo's special exhibit, called Washed Ashore: Art to Save the Sea.
    Video

    Video Baghdad Bikers Defy War with a Roar

    Baghdad is a city of contradictions. War is a constant. Explosions and kidnappings are part of daily life. But the Iraqi capital remains a thriving city, even if a little beat up. VOA's Sharon Behn reports on how some in Baghdad are defying the stereotype of a nation at war by pursuing a lifestyle known for its iconic symbols of rebellion: motorbikes, leather jackets and roaring engines.
    Video

    Video Melting Pot of Immigrants Working to Restore US Capitol Dome

    The American Iron Works company is one of the firms working to renovate the iconic U.S. Capitol Dome. The company employs immigrants of many different cultural and national backgrounds. VOA’s Arman Tarjimanyan has more.
    Video

    Video Testing Bamboo as Building Material

    For thousands of years various species of bamboo - one of the world's most versatile plants - have been used for diverse purposes ranging from food and medicine to textiles and construction. But its use on a large scale is hampered because it's not manufactured to specific standards but grown in the ground. A University of Pittsburgh professor is on track to changing that. VOA’s George Putic reports.
    Video

    Video Orphanage in Iraqi City Houses Kids Who Lost their Parents to Attacks by IS

    An orphanage in Iraqi Kurdistan has become home to scores of Yazidi children who lost their parents after Islamic State militants took over Sinjar in Iraq’s Nineveh Province in 2014. Iraqi Kurdish forces backed by the U.S. airstrikes have since recaptured Sinjar but the need for the care provided by the orphanage continues. VOA’s Kawa Omar filed this report narrated by Rob Raffaele.
    Video

    Video Re-Opening Old Wounds in a Bullet-Riddled Cultural Landmark

    A cultural landmark before Lebanon’s civil war transformed it into a nest of snipers, Beirut’s ‘Yellow House’ is once again set to play a crucial role in the city.  Built in a neo-Ottoman style in the 1920s, in September it is set to be re-opened as a ‘memory museum’ - its bullet-riddled walls and bunkered positions overlooking the city’s notorious ‘Green Line’ maintained for posterity. John Owens reports from Beirut.
    Video

    Video Brexit Resounds in US Presidential Contest

    Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is resounding in America’s presidential race. As VOA’s Michael Bowman reports, Republican presumptive nominee Donald Trump sees Britain’s move as an affirmation of his campaign’s core messages, while Democrat Hillary Clinton sees the episode as further evidence that Trump is unfit to be president.
    Video

    Video NASA Juno Spacecraft, Nearing Jupiter, to Shed Light on Gas Giant

    After a five-year journey, the spacecraft Juno is nearing its destination, the giant planet Jupiter, where it will enter orbit and start sending data back July 4th. As Mike O'Sullivan reports from Pasadena, California, the craft will pierce the veil of Jupiter's dense cloud cover to reveal its mysteries.
    Video

    Video Orlando Shooting Changes Debate on Gun Control

    It’s been nearly two weeks since the largest mass shooting ever in the United States. Despite public calls for tighter gun control laws, Congress is at an impasse. Democratic lawmakers resorted to a 1960s civil rights tactic to portray their frustration. VOA’s Carolyn Presutti explains how the Orlando, Florida shooting is changing the debate.

    Special Report

    Adrift The Invisible African Diaspora