What If You Were the Best in the World, but Not Allowed to Compete?

Because of the age limit in gymnastics, some of the World's best gymnasts aren't getting to compete at major competitions. Here are some of the things the world is missing because these gymnasts are forced to sit at home on the couch.

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  1. Katelyn Ohashi, 14, is ineligible for the London Olympics because she won't turn 16 until the year after the Olympics. Ohashi won Junior Nationals in 2011 and has the skills and mental toughness to compete among the best seniors in the world.
  2. Lexie Priessman, 14, is too young to compete at the London Olympics. She stormed into the elite gymnastics scene last year after winning the 2010 Nastia Liukin Supergirl Cup. She finished fourth at this year's Junior Nationals.
  3. Kyla Ross, 15, finished second at this year's Junior Nationals and first at Nationals in 2010 and 2009. Although she is eligible to compete at the London Olympics next year because she will turn 16 at some point in 2012, she hasn't had any experience at a major international competition. Yes, she is very good, but will the US want to take a risk and send someone without a lot of experience to London?
  4. Sarah Finnegan, 15, will be old enough to compete at the 2012 London Games, but she has had almost no international experience. She competed at a small World Cup event, but didn't get very much media attention  Although she finished second at this year's Junior Nationals and has the skills to go to the Olympics, will she crack under the pressure if sent to London?
  5. Amelia Hundley, 14, finished fifth at this year's Junior Nationals, but won't get a change to try and make the Olympic team until 2016. That seems like ages from now, but because she won't be turning 16 next year, she won't be able to make the Olympic team.
  6. Anastasia Grishina, 15, will be eligible for the Olympic team next year and will probably be on that flight from Russia to London. However, she has had very little experience at major competitions. She competed at the first annual Youth Olympic Games, and although it was a big meet, it didn't put the kind of pressure a World Championships or Olympics would.
  7. Anastasia Sidorova, 15, will be old enough to go to London and probably and up representing the Russian Federation. However, she doesn't have a lot of international experience under her belt. Will the lack of experience cause her to falter in London if she makes the team?
  8. Erika Fasana, 15, hasn't been old enough to compete in any senior international events thus far in her gymnastics career, but she will be eligible for the Olympics next year. She has or is working some of the hardest skills done by anyone in the world today, but hasn't had a change to gain consistency in competition becasue she's been too young. Will this keep her off the Italian Olympic team?
  9. Mai Murakami, 15, will be old enough for the London Games, but she has very little experience at the international level. She has some very hard skills like a quadruple turn on beam and she's even rumored to be working a quint turn. However, she hasn't had the chance to do any of these skills in major competitions. Will she be able to prove herself and get on the Japanese team?
  10. Larisa Iordache, 15, will be old enough to make the Romania Olympic team going to London next year, but she doesn't have a lot of experience internationally to prove to the Romanian officials that she is worth taking.
  11. Kennedy Baker, 15, hasn't be old enough to compete in international senior events up until this point, but she will be old enough to compete for a spot on the US Olympic team. She is a great bar worker, but has had almost no international experience. Could her lack of experience keep her without a plane ticket to London next year?
  12. Brenna Dowell, 15, will be old enough for the Olympics in 2012 and although her coach believes she'll make the team, her lack of experience internationally could keep her on the couch at home.
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