Friday, March 20, 2015

My Favorite Gymnasts of ALL TIME

I have been following the sport of gymnastics for a very long time.

I got my start in gymnastics at GOOCH'S GYMNASTICS CAMP in 1974.  This was a week-long activity camp hosted by the local P.E. teacher at the local grade school.  I was instantly in love.

I have seen some VERY GOOD gymnastics in all the years I have been involved with the sport.  I thought today I would share with you some of my favorite gymnasts.

My favorite female gymnast is Henrietta Onodi.

Henrietta is from Bekescsaba, Hungary. She competed in both the 1992 and 1996 Olympic games, earning a gold medal in Vault and a silver medal on the Floor Exercise in the 1996 Games.  She was was known for her twisting abilities, which went on to become known as her signature move. Where other gymnasts would throw the one and a half twist on floor, she would throw a triple twist.  Most gymnasts would simply jump from the low to the high bar, but Henrietta would add a twist on her way from one bar to another.  And she got so good a twisting on the balance beam that she now has a move named after her, a move so difficult it is still being performed on the international level today!

My favorite male gymnast of all time is Bart Connor.

Bart is from Morton Grove, Illinois (near Chicago) and came up through the ranks in the high school gymnastics system.  He graduated high school in 1976, and that summer went on to compete in his first Olympics.  He made three Olympic gymnastics teams (1976, 1980, and 1984) over the span of his carer, as well as competed for the University of Oklahoma (BOOMER!)  His gymnastics accolades include winning the 1976, 1980 and 1981 America Cup, the 1979 World Cup, and getting a gold medal on parallel bars with a score of a perfect 10 in the 1984 Olympics.  He currently lives and coaches in Norman, Oklahoma.

Just a bit of fun trivia, Bart occasionally comes to Webb City!  Both his parents graduated Webb City High School, and he comes back to visit family in the area.  He is a very friendly fellow and will even let you hold his gold medal if you ask nicely! :)

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