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Why does Marta Karolyi get to pick the world gymnastics team?


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I randomly watched YouTube coverage of the US championships. They kept mentioning how their places don't really matter other than determining the US champ. They all go to a training camp and Marta picks. I read a book on Retton a long time ago, and it seemed like the Karolyis might be a bit abusive in their training methods. Why do they get to pick over some other coach?

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There's a reason Marta is head coach, not Bela. That solves the latter issue.


Marta picks because of how the team competition is set up. I think it's now 5-4-4 (I have a hard time keeping track these days...) Marta needs 4 fantastic scores on the 4 apparatuses to win, but only 5 gymnasts to get those 16 great scores from. So the gymnasts get chosen based on how, and more importantly where, they'll score.


The gymnasts know this, and they'll play the game themselves by trying to improve on a nationally "weak" event like uneven bars, which would improve their chances of being picked for the team.

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