Olympic Medalist Predictions: Gymnastics 2016

Hispanic gymnast in mid-air over balance beam
A look at the gymansts who will make the trip to the 2016 Olympics. John Lund / Getty Images
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Who Will Win in Rio de Janeiro?

The Rio Olympics start on Aug. 5, 2016. (Get the full Olympic gymnastics schedule.) As we all know, a lot can happen between now and then, but it's still fun to try to make predictions. Here's who we're picking for the various medal stands in gymnastics.

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Women's Team


The US women have been unstoppable for about a decade now, winning three world titles as well as the Olympic team title in 2012. (And that's without team competitions at worlds in 2005, 2009 and 2013.)

With the best gymnast in the world at the helm (Simone Biles), and other 2012 Olympians making strong cases for a spot on their second Olympic team (Gabby Douglas, Aly Raisman, and Kyla Ross) the US is the strongest team in the world.

Russia is struggling with injuries and depth, so much of its medal potential comes from the health of London stars Aliya Mustafina and Viktoria Komova. If they're injury-free, Russia can be on that podium.

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Women's All-Around

Larisa Iordache
© Michael Regan / Getty Images

GOLD Simone Biles, USA
SILVER Larisa Iordache, Romania
BRONZE Gabby Douglas, USA

Simone Biles has been the undisputed best in the world since 2013, and should win again in Rio as long as she hits and is healthy. The other two spots are trickier: Iordache has been a solid all-arounder who's shown flashes of brilliance, but also has had trouble with injuries.

The bronze medal could easily go to another American gymnast, but first that athlete will have to make the team, and then get past the tricky two-per-country rule. At the 2015 worlds, Gabby Douglas made it into the all-around finals, but her teammate Maggie Nichols would have likely qualified over her had she competed all four events in preliminaries, and Aly Raisman might have made it if she hadn't fallen off bars in prelims.

So we'll go with the reigning Olympic all-around champ Douglas, but the real takeaway is this: Whichever American gets into the all-around finals will most likely end up on the podium with Biles.

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Women's Vault

Oksana Chusovitina 1994 Goodwill Games
Oksana Chusovitina at the 1994 Goodwill Games. © Chris Cole / Getty Images

GOLD Hong Un Jong, North Korea
SILVER Simone Biles, USA
BRONZE Oksana Chusovitina, Germany

We give the edge to 2008 Olympic gold medalist Hong Un Jong on vault, though if Simone Biles, a three-time medalist on vault, upgrades her second vault, all bets are off. For now, Hong has the more difficult start values and is more likely to take gold.

We'll admit that Oksana Chusovitina is a sentimental favorite and probably an unlikely vault medalist. But if she makes it back to a mind-boggling seventh Olympics in a sport where most gymnasts retire after two (at the most!), she deserves another vault medal.

At the 2015 worlds, Chusovitina attempted a front handspring double front vault. Though her gamble didn't pay off in an event-finals berth, we go back to this: She should get a medal just for being so darn cool.

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Women's Bars

Viktoria Komova (Russia). © Adam Pretty / Getty Images

GOLD Viktoria Komova, Russia
SILVER Huang Huidan, China
BRONZE Yao Jinnan, China

The 2015 worlds had the wackiest bars result in history, with four world champions named (Fan Yilin, Madison Kocian, Daria Spiridonova and Viktoria Komova.) When seemingly everybody gets a gold, it's tougher to predict what will happen in Rio, but we'd give the edge to Komova, whom we also think should have won gold on her own at worlds.

But we also shouldn't forget Huang Huidan and Yao Jinnan, a Chinese power duo that has been a force in this past quad. It's tough to pick the order, but we give Huang a slight edge because she's been a little more consistent at past worlds, picking up gold in 2013 and silver in 2014. Neither competed at 2015 worlds, so if they're still out, Chinese teammate and one of the 2015 world champs Fan could easily grab a medal, as could 2012 Olympic bar champ Aliya Mustafina.

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Women's Beam

Simone Biles
© Dean Mouhtaropoulos / Getty Images

GOLD Simone Biles, USA
SILVER Larisa Iordache, Romania
BRONZE Sanne Wevers, Netherlands

Simone Biles won by such a large margin at the 2015 worlds (more than a point) that it's hard to imagine another scenario on beam, though she is human and at some point, we should allow for the possibility that she may make a mistake during the course of the Olympics.

The gorgeous routine of Sanne Wevers won silver at the 2015 worlds, and we'd love for her to win another medal in Rio. Viktoria Komova could also end up on the podium if she hits -- but she is famously inconsistent on the event.

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Women's Floor

Sae Miyakawa
© Suhaimi Abdullah / Getty Images

GOLD Simone Biles, USA
SILVER Sae Miyakawa, Japan
BRONZE Aly Raisman, USA

Simone Biles has an almost untouchable 6.800 difficulty score on floor, and should win as long as she makes her nearly impossible skills. The other medals could well be a tumble-off between Japan's super-human trickster Sae Miyakawa and Aly Raisman, the 2012 Olympic floor champ. Raisman will have to make the US team, which is hard enough, but if she does, she is still one of the best in the world on the event, and has even added new moves since London.