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Aurora native Anna Li's Olympic dreams are still alive.
After taking third on the uneven bars at this weekend's Visa Championships in St. Louis, Li was named to the U.S. national team and invited to the Olympic Trials.
Li took home the bronze in bars with a difficulty-packed routine that included gravity-defying release moves, earning a 30.700 for two days' work.
"I was really excited to hit a 6.9 start value," Li told NBC Chicago, referring to the difficulty of her routine. "I've been training super consistently. At Classics, I was super nervous because it had been such a long time since I competed, but then once that happened, I knew I was back and ready for competition."
She struggled at the U.S. Classic, held in Chicago on Memorial Day Weekend. Shockingly, she fell on a release move during her bars routine, but rebounded at the Visa Championships.
What the 24-year-old UCLA graduate offers to Team USA is that big bars score. The U.S. doesn't have many hopefuls who can do the bars better than Li. With just five spots on the team, Li will need to give another strong performance at the trials in San Jose at the end of June.
To accomplish that, she will spend the next two weeks in the gym, working on her uneven bars routine as well as the balance beam. She's hoping the selection committee sees what she can offer the team.
"I'm really proud of the bar routine I hit. It's a 6.9, really difficult, and I made sure I hit my handstands, twisted my dismount, and if you want to use that, great!"