Home OLYMPICS Sports Archive – Gymnastics Icons: Kerri Strug

Sports Archive – Gymnastics Icons: Kerri Strug


One of the most famous and popular gymnasts the world has ever seen, Kerry Strug faced adversity ever since she was a child and she always came out on top. Competing in the Atlanta Olympics back in 1996 may have been Kerri Strug’s crown achievement, provided she won the team’s gold with the United States, but it’s the hard work and dedication she gave to her sport that really sets her apart from the other prestigious champions. of her generation. Strug began her path to the Olympics at the age of three when she began training in gymnastics.

The first competition

Strugs first competition came at the age of eight, and her family eventually moved to Houston, Texas, so she could train with the famous gymnastics coach, Bela Karolyi. It also marked the moment when she became a member of the United States gymnastics team as its youngest member. When she went to the mats at the Barcelona Olympics in 1992, Strug was only 14 years old, but she helped the team win a bronze medal during these Olympic Games. Unfortunately, she was edged out by her own teammates during the race to compete in the final, but her performance was still remarkable for a 14-year-old.

A crucial moment

When her coach and mentor, Bela Karolyi, decided to retire after the 1992 Olympics, Strug was at a crossroads. She was unsure whether to continue gymnastics or pursue another dream. In the end, she decided to stick to gymnastics as it was the sport she loved above all else. She found a new coach in Steve Nunno, and she moved to Edmon, Oklahoma to train for the next big events and 1996 Olympic Games. The time period between the two Olympics is probably what defined Strugs entire career.

Persistent damage

During an event in 1994, Strug had a problem with her uneven bar routine, which resulted in her releasing prematurely and losing control of her movement. The result was that Struss landed in an awkward position in the middle of a routine and seriously injured her back. Her teammates and coaches feared the worst at the time, but it turned out to be a hard-drawn muscle in her back. She would be able to return to competition, but the rehabilitation was strenuous and most gymnasts are struggling to regain their old form after a serious injury.

The Atlanta Games showed Keri Strugs resilience and perseverance because she managed to help the United States win team gold despite injuring herself during her first vault attempt. Strug severely injured her ankle during the first attempt, but she still managed to find the inner strength and firmness to get up and complete another vault. Despite running and jumping on what was actually a foot, Strug managed to get a respectable score on her vault, and her second attempt was enough to get the United States over the line for team gold. It is this type of sacrifice and team ethic that made Strug a gymnast we will never forget.


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