Shane Wiskus 'too fragile' to attend Sunday gymnastics events after not making Team USA

Shane Wiskus reacts after finishing his routine on the Rings on Day One of the 2024 U.S. Olympic Team Gymnastics Trials at Target Center on June 27, 2024 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.  ((Photo by Elsa/Getty Images))

Spring Park native and former University of Minnesota gymnastics standout Shane Wiskus is going to Paris, but he will likely not be competing for Team USA.

In what was likely his final U.S. Olympic Trials, in front of a home crowd at Target Center, Wiskus took third in the men’s two-day gymnastics competition. Fred Richard got the automatic spot for winning the competition. The next four spots are up for grabs and based on a variety of factors, and two alternates are chosen.

Despite that third place finish, Wiskus was not chosen for the five-man team, but rather was named an alternate. The three-time NCAA champion was on the 2020 team in Tokyo. When the 2024 team was introduced after the women’s competition Sunday night, Wiskus was nowhere to be found. In a long and emotional Instagram post on Monday, Wiskus offered an explanation.

So distraught over not making the team, Wiskus didn’t sleep Saturday night. He got a text message at 8 a.m. Sunday for the 11 hours worth of interviews, photo shoots and events. He couldn’t do it.

"I was simply too fragile in the moment for any of it. I knew that what I needed most was to be at home in my own bed, which many can relate to. So I asked for permission and bought the first ticket home available," Wiskus posted. He went home to Sarasota, Fla.

He had a near perfect floor routine, his best pommel horse routine of his season, stuck his ring routine and stuck with his former Gophers’ teammates slow-clapping him in support. He performed a bars routine for just the third time since the U.S. Championships, after suffering a dislocated finger and not being able to hang due to the pain of an undiagnosed injury. 

He says immediately after the team was announced Saturday night, he had no time to process the results. As an alternate, he had to change into Olympic warm-ups, go back out with the team, take pictures, be in the confetti and hold back his own emotions, while teammates had tears of joy. He had to feign excitement on social media and to press about being an alternate.

He says he didn’t allow his true emotions to come out until more than two hours later at his hotel room, in front of his family and closest friends.

"I want to state that my frustration in not making the team has no bearing on the athletes who did. I know for a fact that the team selected is the team with the greatest potential for success. Though I’m sad to not be named to that team, I will continue to train at the highest level to ensure our success should I be called upon," Wiskus said.

The Olympic Games start July 27 in Paris, and barring an injury or other circumstance, Wiskus will be forced to be a cheerleader in an Olympic warm-up.