NEW WAVERLY, Texas -- Shayla Worley limped out of the gym at Bela and Martha Karolyi's ranch Friday afternoon.
Her face was pale; her right foot covered in a protective boot and a crutch was supporting her weight. Worley had heard a pop when she was warming up on the balance beam and after Thursday's Olympic trials-like competition, the bad news was confirmed.
Worley, runner-up a year ago at the national championships in the all-around, had a broken bone in her right leg and is probably out of the Olympics.
Dr. Scott Rand, who serves as the U.S. team physician when the girls are at the ranch, said Worley would not be able to compete today, which is the last chance for the gymnasts to impress the Olympic team selection committee and that it was "unlikely" Worley could be healthy enough to compete in the Olympics.
The medical news was brighter for 20-year-old Chellsie Memmel. Memmel, who missed much of the past two seasons while recovering from shoulder surgery, had roared through the first two parts of this year's Olympic selection process by finishing third overall at both U.S. nationals and the Olympic trials. More importantly she added a badly needed world-class uneven bars routine to the U.S. lineup.
But during Friday's mini-meet, conducted in front of a few dozen invited guests, a dozen media members and the selection committee, Memmel slipped out of bounds on her second floor routine pass. While trying to regain her footing Memmel's neck snapped back and forth. "Whiplash," her father and coach Andy called it.
Memmel sat out two rotations.
"It was being careful," Andy said. "She didn't need to prove anything."
But Memmel did come back and do the final apparatus, the balance beam, where she scored a good 15.900.
"She showed how tough she was," teammate Alicia Sacramone said. "It was like, 'I can do a beam routine whenever I want.' "
Twelve gymnasts have been at the ranch since Wednesday doing two-a-day practices and mock meets. The final meet will be today with most gymnasts competing on only two apparatus.
This evening the final six-woman team will be named along with up to three alternates. Shawn Johnson, 16, of West Des Moines, Iowa, and Nastia Liukin, 18, of Parker, Texas, are on the team as automatic qualifiers from the Olympic trials.
Before her injury Friday, Memmel was presumed to be safe on the basis of her performance at the trials and nationals. Samantha Peszek, 16, of Indianapolis (fourth at the trials) and 20-year-old vault and floor specialist Sacramone of Winchester, Mass., are being ceded the fourth and fifth spots.
Up for grabs is the sixth position. In contention are 15-year-old Ivana Hong, who was on last year's world championship team; 16-year-old Bridget Sloan of Pittsboro, Ind., who was an alternate on that team and who is rounding back into form after March knee surgery, and 18-year-old Jana Bieger of Coconut Creek, Fla. Bieger was a world all-around silver medalist in 2006.