ST. LOUIS — Alex Naddour and Chris Brooks didn’t stay in the Olympic village in London. They trained on their own, away from the other Americans. When it came time for the gymnastics competition to start at O2 Arena, Naddour and Brooks watched from the stands.
In Rio de Janeiro, the two will not be separated from the teammates they have trained with and competed against for years. After making the five-man U.S. team, Naddour and Brooks finally will realize the Olympic dream they hoped to accomplish long ago.
They both say they will be better for what they went through in London.
“I’d say I was more motivated after being an alternate than I was previously,” said Naddour, 25.
For Brooks, the experience was frustrating. In what he thought would be his last, best chance to get on the team, he was sitting in the crowd thinking he’d rather be watching from home.
“And then the lights go down and the music starts and (the gymnasts) march in and everything, and you…