Summer 2024

Gymnast Brody Malone recovers from severe knee injury to earn Olympic spot: 'It's all God'

The United States men’s gymnastics team is set for the Paris Olympics after the five-man lineup (plus two replacement athletes) was selected at the conclusion of the U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Team Trials in Minneapolis on Saturday.

The team is comprised of Brody Malone, Asher Hong, Paul Juda, Stephen Nedoroscik and Frederick Richard, who won the all-around competition at the trials. Together, they will attempt to win a team all-around Olympic medal for the United States for the first time since the U.S. claimed bronze in Beijing in 2008, and a gold medal for the first time since the Los Angeles Olympics in 1984.

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After securing one of the five spots on the team, Malone pointed to his Father in Heaven.

“I just have to give all the glory to God,” he told NBC. “It’s all Him, and, yeah, it’s all God. So I just want to thank Him for this. … I’m just so grateful for everything that God’s done for me.”

Only Malone the 2021, 2022 and 2024 U.S. all-around champion has Olympic experience on Team USA. From smalltown Summerville, Georgia, Malone made the trip to Tokyo for the Olympics three years ago, where the U.S. men’s team finished fifth and he finished fourth in the individual horizontal bar competition.

“Anytime you get the opportunity to represent your country on the Olympic stage, it’s an honor and a blessing,” he told uInterview in May about the possibility of reaching the Olympics again.

The 24-year-old Stanford grad’s prior experience will be invaluable for the U.S. men in their quest for a medal in 2024, yet just one year ago, Malone was about as far away from competing at the Olympics as anyone could get.

In July of last year, Malone was still busy re-learning how to walk, much less perform as a world-class gymnast. At a competition in Germany that March, one of his high-bar dismounts went wrong and Malone crumpled to the floor. He had suffered a severe right knee injury that included tearing multiple ligaments and his meniscus, and fracturing his tibial plateau.

The injury was so significant that many questioned whether Malone would recover in time for the 2024 Olympics, if at all. But after three surgeries and countless hours of rehab, his title-winning performance in the all-around competition at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships last month quickly put any doubts to rest.

“It just feels amazing to be able to with everything I’ve gone through be able to come back and make a comeback like I have and be competitive enough to be on the top again,” Malone said, according to Olympics.com, after the U.S. Championships, which was his first all-around competition since the injury. “… Going through what I’ve gone through, I’ve definitely learned to be grateful for every opportunity I have to compete. And so with that, I’m just letting loose a little bit more, having a little more fun.”

Following the first night of competition on May 30, Malone deflected the praise, as he often does.

“First and foremost, I have to give all the glory to God,” he told NBC then. “He is the only reason that I’m here standing right now and I was able to compete and do well tonight. I give all the glory to Him. It was a long recovery process, but with His help and with the help of my family, my teammates, I’m standing here competing.”

 

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Malone has had quite the year so far in 2024, and it’s only July. He was able to return to competition in a limited capacity in January. Then in May, he got married to his longtime girlfriend, Serena, weeks before winning his third U.S. Gymnastics Championships. Now he’s headed to the Olympics again.

Malone knows that his ability to compete in Paris is truly a gift from God. While there, Malone will seek to continue to use his platform to give glory to Him.

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