Donnell Whittenburg sat high in the arena at the 2016 Rio Olympics, entranced by the intense competition and the crowd’s investment in the men’s gymnastics all-around final.
As a U.S. alternate, the gymnast from Baltimore trained in Rio de Janeiro, fulfilling a longtime dream to attend the games. But as an alternate, Whittenburg didn’t achieve his goal of competing.
That’s fueled his training this year — he plans to attend the P&G Gymnastics Championships, which serve as the nationals, Aug. 17-20, to vie for a world championships berth come October — and helped him debut a still rings dismount named after him for its ingenuity and difficulty.
It’s a mark of...