Sympathy Grows for Anna Li - NBC Chicago
London 2012

London 2012

Full coverage on NBC through August 12

Sympathy Grows for Anna Li

"I'm so proud of her," said teammate Jordyn Wieber. "She's put in a lot of hard work."



    Sympathy Grows for Anna Li
    Getty Images
    SAN JOSE, CA - JUNE 29: Anna Li competes on the beam during day 2 of the 2012 U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Team Trials at HP Pavilion on June 29, 2012 in San Jose, California.

    After Anna Li's Olympic dream came to an abrupt end Thursday, her teammates in London offered their support and concern. 

    "I definitely teared up a little bit," said gymnast McKayla Maroney. "All of the girls feel really bad. ... We just really hope for you the best."

    "I would just say I love you and I'm sorry about what happened," said Gabrielle Douglas.

    USA Gymnastics confirmed Thursday 23-year-old Aurora gymnast Li is "no longer training as [a] replacement athlete" after she suffered a torn neck ligament in a fall this week on the uneven bars.

    Li was training Tuesday with the other alternates at an off-site facility when she fell. Following mixed messages about her condition, the team said she must wear a cervical collar as a precaution and won't compete in the London Games.

    USA gymnastics president Steve Penny told NBC Chicago he talked with Li Tuesday night.

    "She's heartbroken," Penny said, "she's disappointed."

    Aurora Holds Olympic Sendoff for Anna Li

    [CHI] Aurora Holds Olympic Sendoff for Anna Li
    The 23-year-old Waubonsie Valley High School graduate is an alternate on the U.S. Women's gymnastics team. Lauren Jiggetts reports.
    (Published Monday, July 9, 2012)

    At trials this summer, Li defied critics who said she was too old, too injury prone and too tall to make the team in any capacity. A strong performance on the uneven bars earned her a coveted alternate spot on the U.S. Women's gymnastics team.

    "I'm so proud of her," said teammate Jordyn Wieber. "She's put in a lot of hard work. For her to be continuing this sport, even after college, that's such an amazing thing. I'm proud of her."

    "I am happy for her that she made it this far," said head coach Martha Karolyi. "Her goal was that she would like to make the team or at least to be an alternate gymnast, and she fulfilled that goal."

    Li told NBC Chicago she still wants to go to London to support her team, but Penny said he believes Li should return to Chicago to get treat immediately.

    "You don't want to mess around with something that happens to your neck, and frankly all of the mixed reports that we've been getting on the extent of the injury ... it's in her best interests to be home getting attention for that as soon as she can."

    The Aurora gymnast's hopes remain high. "Thank u everyone for the get well wishes!" she tweeted.