One could imagine Douglas as the symbol of a little kid’s fantasy of gymnastics, all joyful flipping and happy outcomes. And one could imagine Komova as gymnastics’ tragic heroine, fragile and beautiful, nervily expressive of the sport’s flaws even as she accomplished something extraordinary. But to imagine these narratives is to realize how complicated the stories really are. To be a young woman dedicated to a sport that spits you out so quickly is to be at once incredibly lucky and incredibly challenged. Where, again, will each of these young women find so receptive and expansive an outlet for her ambition, her self-determination, her strength? Can they find a new, meaningful purpose, or does being thrust out of the sport in their early 20s leave them almost permanently at loose ends? How each of these women answers this question ends up shaping the meaning of gymnastics in our culture as much, or more, as anything they do on the floor mat.