Updated: Thursday, 31 May 2012 15:19 | By

USA: Jordyn Wieber

Born: 12/07/1995

Jordyn Wieber in action at the 2011 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships. (© Press Association)

Jordyn Wieber in action at the 2011 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships.

Born: 12/07/1995

Place of birth: DeWitt, USA

Event: Artistic Gymnastics

Previous Olympics: 0

Previous medals: 0

Jordyn Wieber is a young woman in a hurry.

Such is her desire to reach the very top of her sport that the American was competing and finishing in sixth place at the 2006 US National Gymnastics Championships at just 11 years old.

Her rapid progress has also seen her amass a medal haul while still a teenager that would be the envy of many vastly more experienced athletes in other sports.

Wieber's objective of reaching her ultimate goal at the London 2012 Olympics is also the reason why she decided to turn professional last year, despite that meaning that she would have to turn her back on the highly-competitive US college circuit and the probability of a lucrative gymnastics scholarship.

She took the decision in late October 2011, just a few days after she returned from the World Championships in Tokyo with two gold medals and a bronze to add to her impressive collection.

"Right now, I want to make sure that I do everything possible to reach my full potential as an elite athlete for the next few years," Wieber told reporters.

"With this in mind, I have decided to forgo my collegiate eligibility. My parents and I believe this is best for me, and I am excited about pursuing my Olympic dream for the next nine months."

Such a move is certainly not unprecedented - fellow American Shawn Johnson followed a similar path ahead of Beijing 2008 and returned with one gold and three silvers.

It was a decision Wieber's coach fully agreed with.

"We still need to keep our eye on the prize," John Geddert, who is also the USA coach, insisted. "I'm supportive of the idea in that Jordyn isn't cut out for college gymnastics."

Like most gymnasts, Wieber started competing early, aged just four. After she showed her potential at the 2006 US National Championships, she returned a year later and claimed two silvers and a bronze.

In 2008, aged 12, she was the youngest US junior champion.

Still, her career has not been simply a case of medal after medal - and she has had tough times too. Indeed, while training ahead of the 2010 National Championships she injured both her ankles and was forced to miss the competition and the remainder of the year.

Wieber was back in time for the US Nationals in 2011, in which she claimed three more gold medals, before that triumph at the World Championships in Tokyo, where she emphasised her credentials as one of the world's leading gymnasts.

She will still have another year of high school left after the Olympics, but for the past few months at least her studies have had to go on hold as she continues her rapid rise to stardom.