If you ask three of the most decorated women's gymnasts in U.S. Olympic history, when it comes to the competition for the U.S. team this summer in Rio de Janeiro, there is none.
Mary Lou Retton, the 1984 Olympic all-around champ, answered bluntly when asked by Savannah Guthrie on TODAY Friday about who the main competition for the U.S. team will be in the upcoming Olympics.
Who's competition for US gymnasts in Rio? 'No one,' Mary Lou Retton saysMarch 4, 201603:02
"No one,'' she said.
Her two fellow luminaries, 2004 all-around gold medalist Carly Patterson and 2008 Olympic all-around champion Nastia Liukin, agreed with Retton about the defending Olympic team champions.
"We're our own competition right now,'' Patterson said. "I think we have so much depth. The last 10-12 years has just been so many girls, so much talent going through, there's really not a bad choice of a team that you could put together. I think that we're going to see a lot of gold medals coming in Rio."
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The trio appeared on TODAY ahead of Saturday's AT&T American Cup at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. The prestigious international competition often serves as foreshadowing for the Olympics. Retton, Patterson and Liukin all won the all-around title at the American Cup in the same year they won gold in the Olympics.
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Clearly the gymnast to watch as Rio gets closer is Simone Biles, 18, who has already racked up a record 10 World Championship gold medals and become the first woman to ever win three all-around titles at the World Championships. The trio also cited defending Olympic all-around champion Gabby Douglas, 2012 Olympian Aly Raisman, and up-and-coming talents Maggie Nichols and Madison Kocian as others to keep an eye on.
"I think the hardest part is making that U.S. team,'' Liukin said.
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