Paul Hamm withdraws, setback with strained rotator cuff, and won't be ready - Raj Bhavsar in:
“I’ve put my heart and soul into this comeback,” Hamm said on an afternoon conference call with reporters. “I needed to make continuous progress and have no setbacks.” But after returning from a pre-Olympic training camp, Hamm said it became clear to him that he would not be able to compete, saying he strained his rotator cuff and has been unable to perform all of his skills
”Unfortunately, the week after camp has been a disaster,” he said. “I have not been able to do a single full routine since I competed back in May at the U.S. Championships in Houston.”
“Right now there are only five days of training before the podium training in Beijing,” Hamm said. “I can see now that it will be impossible for me to be ready.”
The men's gymnastics selection committee selected Raj Bhavsar of Houston, one of three alternates, to replace Hamm on the team pending approval by the U.S. Olympic Committee.
“Two weeks ago, he was great, he was awesome and did everything he needed to do to be at the Olympics,” said Hamm’s coach, Miles Avery, in a telephone call. “But I was saying all along that he needed to rest. But he pushed it."
Hamm performed all six events at a training camp in Colorado Springs two weeks ago. And on July 19, the selection committee said he had done enough to prove he could perform at the Olympic Games, despite his injury.
“We admire Paul for making this difficult decision,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics, in a statement. “Paul’s comeback this year has been phenomenal, made even more impressive following the injury to his hand. He has raised the level of determination among the entire team to put forth a medal winning effort in China.”