Being a part of Simone Biles’s ‘Gold Over America Tour’ may have been a life-changing experience for Morgan Hurd.


Why Didn’t Morgan Hurd Make it to Olympic Trials

The 2017 global all-around champion tweeted on Sunday night, a day after the final event in Boston, “[I] have never been more grateful to be a part of something.” The 20-year-old and her fellow gymnastics superstars have just finished a remarkable 32-city U.S. tour with the central message of the importance of prioritising mental health.

Why Didn't Morgan Hurd Make it to Olympic Trials

Hurd declared herself to be a leading contender for the U.S. women’s gymnastics team sixteen months before she ever stepped foot on a tour bus. She overcame her heartbreak in missing out on the 2019 World Championships by winning the American Cup with a commanding, crisp performance in March of that year.

However, the scope of the COVID-19 pandemic eventually became apparent. When it was announced that Tokyo would have to postpone the 2020 Olympics, the entire globe froze.

The Former World Champion Struggled Throughout The Extra Year.

Hurd’s elbow surgery in August of 2020 turned into a second one in March of 2021, and time became an adversary as he prepared for the Olympic trials.

Because I was doing so well last summer, this was an extremely disheartening, stressful, and anxious period. Hurd, who starred in the Olympic Channel original series ‘All Around,’ said, “I was picking up skills, and I had really high aspirations heading into the season and then just kind of like one thing after another.”

It Was a Very Trying Period

With her preparation hampered by a series of unfortunate events, Hurd was unable to participate in the Winter Cup Challenge in February and was absent from several following national team camps. After competing in two events at the U.S. Classic in late May, she went on to participate in two more at the U.S. Championships in early June.

Her routines on the floor and balance beam were not up to par, and she fell off the beam several times throughout the course of both days at the U.S. championships. She tried to get into the U.S. Olympic trials by petitioning, but was turned down.

Forget the physical aspect, I don’t think it was that at all. It was probably all in her head; “I just sort of stopped kind of really believing myself and even believing that I could get to where I wanted to be,” she said. “And then I started becoming nervous during gymnastics, and it was extremely tough for me to train in the months leading up to [the U.S.] championships and everything, because I always felt like I was running out of time.

In his own words, Hurd explains, “I was just so furious that my body was utterly failing me.” I was worried about performing my gymnastics since I couldn’t predict the outcome. I was worried that I may hurt myself or anything. To put it simply, it was a trying period.

Joyful Diversions

She was relieved to receive a call from her gymnast friend Justin Ah Chow. Junior member of the Ohio State men’s gymnastics team Ah Chow invited Hurd to spend the next week in Florida with him and several pals.

“It’s the evening of Day 2 of the U.S. Championships, and I’m sobbing in my hotel. The next thing I know, [Justin] is calling me two hours after the tournament and asking, “Hey, do you want to go to Florida next weekend with me and some of my friends?” Remembered Hurd. To paraphrase, “Like, ‘Sure, why not? Even though I’m still crying, everything is OK.

Hurd adds that this trip was her first non-gymnastics-related travel since 2016, and that it served as a pleasant respite.

The five-time world medalist says she still hoped to compete at the highest level of gymnastics despite her heartbreak and following distractions caused by travel.


In the beginning of the summer, following nationals, Hurd was “very gung ho” about continuing elite, but his coach, Slava Glazunov, was sceptical. As an alternative, I had a rough summer and decided, “I’ll go to college.”

Hurd confirmed that she will begin her studies at the University of Florida in the upcoming spring semester.