Why: Men's team wanted to leave two spots open in case a top athlete falters at one of the qualifying competitions, the way national champion Dan Hayden did in 1988, when he failed to make the team. Just as importantly, the final two spots will be used to shore up weaknesses in events where the four top scorers aren't as strong.
Women When chosen: Moments after the Olympic trials conclude, Aug. 20.
Who: Six athletes from among those competing at the Olympic trials in August. The athletes will be ranked based on combined scores from U.S. Gymnastics Championships (40 percent) and Olympic trials (60 percent). But those rankings don't necessarily have to be followed. All six spots will be awarded by a selection committee.
The committee: National team coordinator Bela Karolyi, 1984 Olympian Tracee Talavera, longtime U.S. judge Marilyn Cross and gymnast Chari Knight.
Nationals: The top 12 at this week's U.S. Gymnastics Championships advance to trials. Those who don't compete, or don't compete in all events - as could be the case with Shannon Miller (leg) - can petition for a spot directly into trials. The decision on petitions will be made in upcoming weeks.
Why: Karolyi wants supreme flexibility when it comes to choosing his team. He wants to be able to blend the top all-around gymnasts with specialists in certain events. He also wants to base his decision on their progress over several months, not just their performance in two events. USA Gymnastics president Bob Colarossi says scores at nationals and trials will be factored heavily into the selection process.