Broken left foot forces gymnast out of trials

Updated: June 25, 2004, 10:42 PM ET
Associated Press

ANAHEIM, Calif. -- Without doing a single routine, Chellsie Memmel found herself in the thick of race for a spot on the Olympic team Friday night.

Memmel is recovering from a broken left foot and is still unable to compete at this week's Olympic trials. But because the six-member team will be chosen next month, and not at trials, Memmel is still well in the running.

"I'm glad things are working out this way, because it's really giving me a chance," Memmel said.

Memmel is being afforded every opportunity because of the way she performed last year at world championships.

An alternate who was pressed into duty when half of the original six-woman team went down with sickness and injuries, Memmel went 8-for-8 over the span of the meet and was the star of America's gold-medal victory. She also tied with teammate Hollie Vise for gold on the uneven bars.

She broke her foot at a training camp April 8 and got out of a cast earlier this month. She came to Anaheim to practice in front of team coordinator Martha Karolyi, who might have helped Memmel's chances of making the team by telling her to concentrate on just two events, uneven bars and beam.

Memmel said her bars routine is down pat, minus the dismount. She's working the beam routine on the floor at this point. She expects to be in good shape when Karolyi holds her camp next month, after which the six women will be chosen.

"It's been difficult" watching Olympic trials this week, Memmel conceded. "But this selection process helps me a lot. Without it, I wouldn't be able to compete for a spot at all."

Copyright 2004 by The Associated Press