Sports of The Times: Emotions Get a Workout at U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Trials

SAN JOSE, Calif. — At the United States Olympic women’s gymnastics trials, tears were shed. No surprise.

Tears from gymnasts who made the team. Tears from gymnasts who didn’t.

Tears even from Martha Karolyi, the normally stoic women’s national team coordinator, who at the end of trials on Sunday night had no choice but to crush the hearts and hopes of the gymnasts who weren’t among those five women she chose to represent the United States at the Rio Games.

For Aly Raisman, who made her second Olympics, the tears at these trials began early. They started on Friday, even before the competition began.

After practice that morning, hours before Day 1 of the two-day trials, Raisman began sobbing. Her head ached. Her stomach ached. She was nervous and tired, so tired. Her longtime coach, Mihai Brestyan, saw it coming and gave her a pat on the back.

“Just sit down and let it out,” he recalled telling her. “Let it all out.”

And so Raisman did, letting her tears soak her leotard.

Raisman — who, at 22, is known as the national team’s grandma — was thinking about how far she had come to make it to the cusp of another…

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