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It's getting Rio: Behind the scenes with the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team

U.S. women's gymnastics Olympic team 2016 in the Olympic Rings

It's getting Rio: Behind the scenes with the U.S. Olympic gymnastics team

From pin trading and photo bombs to making friends with the Cuban volleyball team

Before the U.S. gymnastics team begin competing at the Rio Olympics, they're spending the week in Brazil working hard in their final training sessions. But they're also taking the time to explore the Athletes Village, mingle with other Olympians and make Rio feel like home.

The women's team had their first "only at the Olympics" moment at the airport, when they ran into the Cuban volleyball team and one of the Olympic mascots, Vinicius. 

They settled into their home for the next three weeks, the Athletes Village, and took time to appreciate the view off their balcony.


Then they met up with Japan's men's gymnastics team in the dining hall. The U.S. women and the Japanese men are the reigning world champion teams, while Simone Biles and Kohei Uchimura are the reigning all-around world champions.

Aly Raisman, the captain of both the 2012 and 2016 teams, declared herself the leading Olympic pin trader. 
22-year-old Raisman is the oldest member of the team, and 16-year-old Laurie Hernandez is the youngest. The team teasingly calls Raisman "mama Aly" or "Grandma."

In the sports medicine room, Simone Biles posed with a volleyball player who was a full two feet taller.

Biles' personal coach and the head coach of the women's team, Aimee Boorman, shared a short video of the Rio-branded gymnastics equipment.

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Before Sam Mikulak left for Rio, he got a patriotic new haircut: the American flag shaved into the side of his head.
Mikulak, Alex Naddour, Danell Leyva, Jake Dalton and Chris Brooks dedicated themselves to their training as soon as they landed in Rio. Unlike the women, they're not favored to win gold in the team final: they finished fifth at the 2015 World Championships.

They also appreciated having a pool-front view from  their rooms in the Athletes Village.


Mikulak tried to get a photo with the national team coordinator of the women's team, the legendary coach Martha Karolyi. Some familiar faces decided to jump in the pic, too.


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