From Salt Lake City to the Olympics.
Simple as that.Fifty-five of the United States' best gymnasts will come to Salt Lake City in two weeks to take the final step toward Seoul, Korea, in the U.S. Olympic trials July 29-Aug. 6 at the Salt Palace.
Seventeen gymnasts - six men, six women, an alternate man and woman and three rhythmic performers - will advance from the Palace to the world's athletic showcase in mid September.
Among those hoping to use the Salt Palace competition as a springboard to the Olympics are Salt Lake City's Melissa Marlowe, who is among 21 female artistic gymnasts vying for the six-plus-an-alternate women's team, and Bob Gauthier, the ex-BYU All-America and assistant coach, who will be among the 23 male gymnasts hoping to make the six-man, one-alternate men's team that is defending Olympic champion.
The Utah Sports Foundation, local organizer of the Olympic trials, which are under the direction of the U.S. Gymnastics Federation, on Wednesday released the list of the 55 qualifiers for the Salt Lake City meet.
Included are 11 women vying for the rhythmic team, plus 18 men and 20 women who qualified for the trials from the Championships of the USA last weekend in Houston and another woman, former national champion Sabrina Mar, and five men who were petitioned into the trials because injury kept them from competing at the USA meet.
Scores from the Championships of the USA count 40 percent toward qualification for the Olympics, and scores from the Olympic trials count the other 60 percent.
Marlowe, generally acknowledged to be among the top three or four in the nation and a member of the 1987 World Championship and Pan American Games teams, finished 11th in the Houston meet last weekend under what her coach, Mark Lee of Rocky Mountain Gymnastics, called a hostile environment. He said the crowd was definitely pro-Karolyi. Bela Karolyi, the Romanian defector who coached Nadia Comaneci and Mary Lou Retton to Olympic gold, bases his Karolyi's club in Houston, and five of his gymnasts were among the qualifiers for the Salt Lake City trials.
Lee is optimistic about Marlowe's chances to move up to the final six because only .4 point separated fifth and 11th places in the Houston scores, and that .4 only counts for 40 percent in the total score.
Gauthier, of Clinton, Mass., finished 15th in the men's division of the Championships of the USA. He has been a member of the national team after attaining All-America status at BYU, where he went from walkon to team captain. He placed seventh all-around and fourth on still rings in the NCAA finals as a senior.
Qualifiers for the U.S. Olympic trials at the Salt Palace:
Friday, July 29, 7:30 p.m. and Saturday, July 30, 7 p.m.
Diane Simpson, Michelle Berube, Dacon Lister, Irena Vdovets, Marina Kunyavsky, Alexandra Feldman, Eugenia Yuan, Irina Rubinshtein, Alla Svirsky, Laura David, Pauline David. (Three to Olympics.)
Compulsories - Wednesday, Aug. 3, 7:30 p.m.; Optionals - Friday, Aug. 5, 7:30 p.m.
Dan Hayden, Kevin Davis, Charles Lakes, Curtis Holdsworth, Tom Schlesinger, Lance Ringnald, Wes Suter, Dominick Minicucci, Bill Paul, Chris Laux, Dennis Hayden, Mike Chaplin, David St. Pierre, Randy Besosa, Bob Gauthier, Robert Sundstrom, Dan Bachman, Steve Mikulak. X-Scott Johnson, X-Tim Daggett, X-Jon Omori, X-Collin Godkin, X-Mike Rice. (Six plus alternate to Olympics.)
Compulsories - Thursday, Aug. 4, 7:30 p.m.; Optionals - Saturday, Aug. 6, 12:45 p.m.
Phoebe Mills, Kelly Garrison-Steves, Hope Spivey, Chelle Stack, Stacey Gunthorpe, Brandy Johnson, Rhonda Faehn, Doe Yamashiro, Kristie Phillips, Christy Henrich, Melissa Marlowe, Kristen Kenoyer, Joyce Wilborn, Lisa Panzironi, Sheryl Dundas, Robin Richter, Kim Kelly, Danna Lister, Carol Ulrich, Tina Snowden. X-Sabrina Mar. (Six plus alternate to Olympics.)
X-Petitioned into Olympic trials due to injuries.