Brody Malone, Fred Richard headline U.S. men’s gymnastics team for 2024 Paris Olympic Games

By Patricia Duffy | June 29, 2024
Paul Juda, Fred Richard, Asher Hong, Stephen Nedoroscik, Brody Malone, Khoi Young, and Shane Wiskus after being named to the U.S. men's gymnastics team for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games.
© Amy Sanderson/Gymnastics Now

The U.S. men’s gymnastics team for the 2024 Paris Olympic Games was named on Saturday evening, following two days of competition at the USA Gymnastics Olympic Trials.

Asher Hong, Paul Juda, Brody Malone, Stephen Nedoroscik, and Fred Richard make up the five-man team. Khoi Young and Shane Wiskus will serve as traveling alternates. Donnell Whittenburg, Yul Moldauer, and Patrick Hoopes are the non-traveling alternates.

Malone is the only previous Olympian on the main team, having competed at Tokyo 2021. The remaining four will become Olympians when they compete in subdivision 1 of qualifying on July 27.

“I’m really glad I wrote on my whiteboard: ‘Become an Olympian.'” Paul Juda said through happy tears Saturday. “I had fell short on a couple other goals that I wrote on that whiteboard, and I was just starting to think if I should erase the one that said Olympian because maybe it won’t come true. But I’m going home and [putting] a massive check mark on there.”

Richard earned an automatic berth to the team following his performance at trials, where he finished first in the all-around and top three on three events (floor, parallel bars, and high bar).

“I don’t even know how to explain it,” Richard said. “You just feel satisfied, like electric. It’s done – the job’s done – and now your life is changing. [It’s] something I’ve never done before – the Olympics. It’s a new mountain in my life, and I’m ready to climb it.”

The rest of the team was also selected automatically according to the selection procedures, meaning the top-scoring teams based on the formal tryout events (Olympic Trials and U.S. championships) and outlined data sets consisted of the five athletes selected.

Is it the best team for the U.S. to send to Paris? Where they’re hoping to win their first Olympic team medal since 2008? That remains to be seen.

In gymnastics, discretionary criteria (difficulty level, medal potential, consistency, experience, etc.) is often used to decide a team since the sport is inherently subjective. But the athletes on the U.S. men’s national team gave their input last December and collectively agreed, along with the national team staff, to the procedures for the Games – in which the team could be automatically selected based on team-scoring scenarios before it ever got the chance to go to discretionary criteria.

If the team hadn’t been automatically selected, the result would’ve likely been different; there were quite a few other players to consider, including Wiskus and Young, Yul Moldauer, and Curran Phillips to name the short list.

When all was said and done Saturday, the athletes that probably had the most to gain from the selection going to discretionary criteria were Wiskus and Phillips.

Minnesota-native and Tokyo Olympian Wiskus finished third overall in the all-around at trials, peaking at the right time with the meet of his life in front of a home crowd. He won the all-around Day 2 of trials, beating both Richard and Malone.

Phillips didn’t have a perfect week on his other three events, but on parallel bars, he was lights out, putting up a 15.600 Day 1 and a 15.650 Day 2 – easily the highest scores of the meet and enough to hypothetically put him on the podium at the past two world championships. He had a 15.500 on Day 1 of U.S. championships before having to withdraw due to a thumb injury.

As for Young and Moldauer, they both had inconsistent outings at championships and trials that ultimately led to their being left off the top scoring scenarios. At risk of cherry-picking scenarios and “what ifs,” maybe the algorithm did its job in this case. After all, four of the five top all-arounders (save Wiskus) made the team.

Lamenting on all the scenarios aside, the team that was selected is capable of winning a team medal and individual medals.

Still, this is a test of the algorithm that the program’s athletes and coaches settled on.

Looking ahead to subdivision 1 of qualifying on July 27 – where the U.S. will start their Games on pommel horse – here is where each athlete is likely to factor in:

4 up, 3 count for qualifying | 3 up, 3 count for team final

BOLD indicates likely choices for team final

  • FX: Malone, Juda, Hong, Richard
  • PH: Richard, Malone, Juda, Nedoroscik
  • SR: Juda, Richard, Malone, Hong
  • VT: Richard, Juda, Malone, Hong
  • PB: Juda, Malone, Hong, Richard
  • HB: Hong, Juda, Richard, Malone
  • AA: Richard, Malone

For a full play-by-play of both days of competition, see our live updates story.

The 2024 Paris Olympic Games open July 26, with competition in artistic gymnastics beginning the day after on July 27. The U.S. men will competing in qualifying subdivision 1 and start on pommel horse. See the full schedule here.

Meet the U.S. men’s gymnastics team for Paris 2024

Frederick Richard

Fred “Frederick Flips” Richard, 20, burst onto the scene as a first-year senior in 2022, before hitting his stride in 2023. Over the course of 2023, he won the NCAA all-around, parallel bars, and high bar titles while representing Michigan, won the U.S. high bar title and finished third all-around, helped the U.S. win its first world medal (bronze) since 2014, and became the youngest U.S. man to win a world medal with bronze in the all-around. That’s not to mention his more than a million followers across social media. Richard is once again a threat for an all-around medal and will likely want to redeem himself after missing out on the world high bar final in Antwerp last fall.

Brody Malone

Brody Malone, 24, is the only athlete on this team with Olympic experience, having competed at the Tokyo Games. There, he narrowly missed out on a high bar medal, finishing fourth, and was 10th in the all-around. Malone would go on to win bronze on high bar at Worlds later in 2021 before winning the world title in 2022. In March of 2023, Malone would suffer a nearly career-ending leg injury that would throw his status for Paris into question. As one of the U.S. team’s leaders over the past quad, Malone has developed his own brand of quiet fierceness, speaking more with his actions and results than words. Since his comeback this year, he’s let loose a little more, relishing the sport that was nearly ripped away from him. Despite still having to wear a brace and do rehab and physical therapy for his leg, Malone has returned to his dominant self in the all-around, winning his third U.S. all-around title in early June. He’s capable of contending for a high bar medal in Paris and could improve on his all-around finish from last Games.

Asher Hong

Similar to Richard, Asher Hong, 20, also burst on to the scene as a first-year senior in 2022 and has been part of the past two world championship teams, helping the U.S. to its historic team bronze in 2023. He’s also advanced to the all-around final at both Worlds and the parallel bars final in 2023. Stateside, Hong became the youngest U.S. all-around champion since 1989 when he won in 2023. In his two seasons representing Stanford in the NCAA, Hong has amassed six national titles (two with the team, four individual). A cologne aficionado in his free time, you may catch Hong chowing down on strawberries between routines in Paris. He’s taken to eating the fruit during meets this season to maintain his carb intake, stay hydrated, and ultimately stave off cramps. (Yes, he eats them whole – stems and leaves included.) Hong is a strong all-arounder but contributes the most on vault (with his exceptionally difficult Ri Se Gwang) and rings.

Paul Juda

Paul Juda, 22 (soon to be 23 on July 7), is Richard’s Michigan teammate. He won the 2022 NCAA all-around and vault titles and was an alternate for the world team that year before being setback by injuries in early 2023. He rebounded later that year to become the U.S. floor champion and contribute to the U.S. bronze at worlds, also advancing to the vault and high bar finals. Although we haven’t seen it as of late, Juda can compete one of the same vaults as Simone Biles: the Yurchenko double pike. This season, he won the NCAA floor title. Juda is an exciting gymnast to watch with superb technique and a passionate, charismatic personality. If Saturday’s emotional aftermath was any indication, Juda is sure to capture the hearts of many in Paris.

Stephen Nedoroscik

On a team with four all-arounders lies a true event specialist: Stephen Nedoroscik. The 25-year-old trains and competes only pommel horse, where he owns two NCAA titles, the past four U.S. titles, and the 2021 world title. Nedoroscik earned the nickname of “Goggles”/”Goggles guy” for wearing non-prescription goggles when he competed for years. (He’s ditched the goggles as of late.) In addition to being one of the best pommel horse workers in the world, Nedoroscik can solve a Rubik’s Cube in under 9 seconds. In Paris, he’ll compete up to three routines: qualifying, team final, and the pommel horse final (if he qualifies). Nedoroscik can adjust his routine on the fly, with a varying difficulty score. Over four days of competition at championships and trials, Nedoroscik hit a 6.0+ difficulty score once (6.4 D-score and a 15.400 overall). The remaining three days he’s hovered in the mid-to-upper 14s with D-scores of 5.6 and 5.9. After the team was announced, Nedoroscik said he’d ideally hit a 6.7 in a pommel horse final, maybe a 6.5.