ANAHEIM- ANAHEIM, Calif. - Olympians Mihai Bagiu and Diane Simpson, former gymnasts Michelle Berube, Sabrina Mar, and Dan Hayden, Brevet Judge Sue Ammerman and former U.S. Gymnastics Federation President Mike Jacki, will be inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame at a ceremony on Saturday in Anaheim.
The USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame seeks to recognize the sport's top athletes, coaches and contributors for their lifelong dedication to the development of the sport of gymnastics in the United States.
Double-Olympic gold medalist and 1987 Hall of Fame inductee Peter Vidmar will emcee the ceremony at 6:30 p.m. at the Anaheim Hilton. The ceremony takes place in conjunction with the U.S. Olympic Team Trials - Gymnastics, June 24-27 at the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim.
Induction into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame is the highest honor bestowed upon an individual in the gymnastics community. Individuals may be nominated in any of three categories: athlete, coach, or contributor.
2004 Hall of Fame Inductees:
Sue Ammerman has been a personality in the sport of gymnastics for over 37 years and has been a highly respected Brevet Judge for the past 21 years of her 37 year judging career. In 1996, Sue was the Women's Technical Director for the Atlanta Olympic Games and has served for 12 years as the Technical Delegate to the Women's FIG Technical Assemblies. Sue has generously donated her time and efforts to gymnastics at every level including serving as President of the North Jersey Board of Officials, United States Gymnastics Federation Regional Co-Chairman, and United States Gymnastics Federation delegate to the United States Olympic Committee from 1976 to 1988.
Mihai Bagiu was a member of the 1996 Olympic Team which placed fifth. He was a member of the 1995 gold medal Pan American Team winning a silver medal on the pommel horse. Bagiu began gymnastics in his native country, Romania, at age five. In 1979 he emigrated with his family to the U.S. and became a citizen in 1989, finally locating in Albuquerque, New Mexico in 1992 to train for the Atlanta Olympics with coach Ed Burch at Gold Cup Gymnastics. Bagiu married Kris McNamara, a former SCATS gymnast in 1992 and the couple now has four children, Gabriela, Mia, Jared, and Chloe.
Michelle Berube began her gymnastics career at age 9 and at the age of 12 shifted her interest to the sport of Rhythmic Gymnastics. Michelle was a two-time Olympian (1984 and 1988) and two-time World Championships Team Member (1981 and 1983). She was on the U.S. National Team seven times, was an All-Around National Champion, and two-time Athlete of the Year for rhythmic gymnastics. At the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles she placed 14th overall and in 1988 placed 22nd overall. Following her gymnastics career, Michelle moved to Los Angeles and began work in the entertainment field. Some of her accomplishments include the American Music Awards and the 1995 Oscars. Michelle currently resides in West Hills, California with her husband, Joseph, and two children, daughter Madison (3) and son Joseph age (1).
Dan Hayden competed in the sport of gymnastics for almost 20 years. He won National Championship titles in both NCAA and USA competition, winning the all-around gold medals in still rings, high bar, and parallel bars at the 1988 McDonalds Championships of the USA. He competed in the 1987 World Championships and earned a spot on the 1985 World Team. Dan was also on the Junior Olympic team for six years and represented the US Team at international competition for over four years. He was an Olympic alternate in 1988. Together with his twin Dennis, he traveled to over 10 countries representing the U.S. at various international meets. In 1994 Haydens International Gymnastics Academy was founded by the Hayden family. Dan and his wife Barbara currently reside in Evans, Ga.
Mike Jacki is being honored as a contributor to the sport of gymnastics, actively volunteering and promoting the sport prior to becoming the President of the United States Gymnastics Federation in 1983. Mike took on the responsibility of the USGF when the existence of the organization was in jeopardy and his leadership helped define what the national programs are today. He helped create the National Gymnastics Foundation from the profit of the 1984 Olympic Games. He began the USGF Safety Program and Certification, and started the Talent Opportunity Program. Among other positions held, Mike was the competition director for the 1984 Olympics and is an honorary member of the FIG.
Sabrina Mar enjoyed many successful years as a competitive gymnast from 1976 to 1988. She won the all-around title in the 1985 Championships of the USA as well as the uneven bars and floor exercise titles with second place on vault and balance beam. Sabrina was a two-time World Championships team member and was the 1987 Pan American All-Around Champion winning silver on floor and uneven bars, bronze on balance beam, and a gold Team Championships medal. After her gymnastics career, Sabrina graduated from UCLA in 1993 and went on to become an animator for many years on the TV cartoon "South Park." Sabrina currently lives in Torrance, Calif. with her husband Dennis and their son Noah.
Diane Simpson represented the U.S. as one of two rhythmic gymnasts in Seoul, South Korea, during the 1988 Olympic Games. She competed in two Pan American Games winning two gold medals, two silver medals and a bronze. She earned a qualifying spot for the U.S. in the 1988 and 1992 Olympic Games during two of her four World Championships appearances. Diane is an accredited national-level judge for USA Gymnastics with more than 13 years of experience and is a past announcer for the Junior Olympics. As a journalist, she served as a NBC expert for gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline during the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. Diane resides in Chicago with her husband H. Hollister Bundy IV, and 5-year-old daughter Alexis.
In order to be considered for the Hall of Fame, athlete nominees must have been retired for a period of five years, have been an Olympic, Pan American, World University or World Championships team member, and a National Champion or National Collegiate Champion.
For more information on the Hall of Fame or the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, log on to www.usa-gymnastics.org.