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Gymnastics: Two years before Rio, a look back at the way we were

Two years we were thinking: Could this routine get any harder?
Two years we were thinking: Could this routine get any harder?
Photo by Phil Walter/Getty Images

Today marks exactly two years to go until the 2016 Rio Olympic Games. How did we get here? And what will be the big gymnastics stories two years from now?

No idea. Trying to predict who will do what in gymnastics even one year out from the Olympic Games is almost pointless. Ours is a quick-change sport. To prove this, let's revisit the things that seemed sure two years ago on this day.

Two years ago...

-- Katelyn Ohashi was considered the U.S.'s top contender for Rio.

-- Nobody had ever heard of Claudia Fragapane.

-- The Fierce Five were everywhere.

-- McKayla Maroney was not impressed.

-- It seemed like Aliya Musatfina's bar routine couldn't possibly get any more difficult.

-- We were all awed by Zou Kai's difficulty and Epke Zonderland's hair, even if a tad less impressed by their form.

-- People thought Amanars were, like, the most dangerous thing to land on vault.

-- The Chinese had stayed on the beam in Olympic finals while the Romanians had made mistakes. Were the planets misaligned or something?

-- Alexander Alexandrov was head coach of the Russian women's team.

-- All of a sudden, the British men were really, really good.

-- We were sure that Oksana Chusovitina was going to retire after this Olympics. So was Oksana, actually.

-- Simone Biles was something of a face in the crowd on the U.S. Junior scene. An above-average tumbler with an Amanar, but still a face in the crowd.

-- We thought Anna Pavlova would never compete in a big international competition again.

-- Six hundred thousand people had yet to watch Kenzo Shirai land four twists at the end of his floor routine on Youtube.

-- Kohei Uchimura was considered by many the best male gymnast who has ever lived.

Then again, some things don't change.

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