Former Golden Gopher gymnast Guillermo Alvarez left for Philadelphia with Minnesota head coach Mike Burns Monday. Alvarez is headed to Philly for the USA Gymnastics 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials, where he will be one of 15 gymnasts competing for one of six berths on the team that will travel to Beijing, China for the 2008 Olympic Games.
The 2008 U.S. Olympic Trials begin Thursday night and wrap up Saturday afternoon. The trials will be held at the Wachovia Center.
Alvarez was the Nissen-Emery Award winner as a senior at Minnesota in 2005. The award is given to the top gymnast in the nation. He has been a member of the U.S. National Team since February 2005 and has competed in numerous international competitions, including the 2006 and 2007 World Championships and the 2007 Pan American Games.
Burns said Alvarez has the potential to earn a berth on the Olympic Team.
“Obviously, the Olympic Trials is the pinnacle of competition in the United States,” Burns said. “Everybody is going to doing their best to earn a spot and only six guys get to go. But his preparation has been good. If he has the kind of meet he had at the Visa Championships last month, he should have a good shot. It is hard to predict, though. We’re looking forward to it. It should be an intense competition.”