Proving the depth of the U.S. women’s gymnastics team, the U.S. women earned the bronze medal at the 1995 World Gymnastics Championships in Sabae, Japan. Defending World Champions Romania won the gold medal, and China took the silver. The top twelve teams from this competition qualify for the 1996 Summer Olympic Games in Atlanta, Ga.
Head Coach Bela Karolyi commented, “This World Championships was one of the most dramatic that I’ve been through in my 30 years. (Dominique) Dawes, (Amanda) Borden, (Jaycie) Phelps-all injured. Coming here tonight, Shannon (Miller) was injured. We did have some dramatic moments. Shannon is Shannon; she is one of the most incredible athletes I’ve ever seen. These athletes made it happen!”
Two-time World Champion Shannon Miller (Edmond, Okla.) considered scratching from the floor and vault competition due to an injury to her left foot, but she persevered, competing in all four events.
Miller explained her evening saying, “When I went to bars, I did okay, and we decided I would do beam, but only use a full twist dismount. I knew I wouldn’t make beam finals if I didn’t do my full twisting, double back dismount, so I went for it. Then I wanted to do floor because if I had not, we would have only had five gymnasts on floor, and all of their scores would have to count. After floor, I was only going to do one vault, but I took a big step and had to do another one.”
Women’s Team Results:
(Rank, Country, Compulsory Score, Optional Score, Team Total)
1, Romania, 192.570, 195.295, 387.865
2, China, 190.819, 195.657, 386.476
3, USA, 191.722, 192.983, 384.705
4, Russia, 191.408, 193.281, 384.689
5, Ukraine, 189.033, 192.971, 382.004
6, France, 187.483, 190.720, 378.203
7, Spain, 188.494, 189.509, 378.003
8, Belarus, 185.893, 189.619, 375.512
9, Hungary, 184.745, 186.796, 371.541
10, Japan, 183.430, 188.082, 371.512
11, Greece, 182.857, 187.406, 370.263
12, Australia, 181.920, 186.383, 368.303
13, Germany, 181.957, 186.257, 368.214
14, Italy, 183.308, 184.272, 367.580
15, Canada, 181.907, 184.107, 366.014
16, Uzbekistan, 177.695, 182.820, 360.515
17, Israel, 176.621, 183.181, 359.802
The top thirty-six men and women from the team competition qualify for the all-around finals which take place Oct. 8, while the top eight gymnasts on each event from the team competition qualify for the individual event finals on Oct. 9-10.
Despite her injury, Miller was the highest U.S. qualifier to the all-around competition, finishing sixth. Also qualifying for all-around finals for the U.S. were National Champion Dominique Moceanu (Hollywood, Calif.) and ’92 Olympian Kerri Strug (Tucson, Ariz.)
(Athlete, Hometown/School or Club, AA Score, AA Rank)
Shannon Miller, Edmond, Okla./Dynamo Gymnastics, 77.698, 6
Dominique Moceanu, Hollywood, Calif./Karolyi’s Gymnastics, 77.435, 8
Kerri Strug, Tucson, Ariz./Colorado Aerials, 76.974, 12
Doni Thompson, Colorado Springs, Colo./Colorado Aerials, 67.099, 113*
Jaycie Phelps, Greenfield, Ind./Cincinnati, 66.735, 116*
Mary Beth Arnold, Sparks, Nev./Flips Gymnastics, 56.237, 158*
Theresa Kulikowski, Colorado Springs, Colo./Colorado Aerials, 36.923, 183*
* Did not compete all-around
- Theresa Kulikowski: “It’s pretty exciting! This is my first international competition. I wish I could have contributed more, but I will next time.
- Shannon Miller: “I was planning on just doing bars and beam, but when I got to floor, I went for it. I wasn’t aware during the competition how close it was.”
- Dominique Moceanu: I’m happy we won the bronze medal. I could have done better today. I’ll try to do better tomorrow.”
“I didn’t know that the bronze medal depended on my last vault.”
- Jaycie Phelps, on her injury: “I couldn’t do full routines like I normally do, so I did a lot of mental preparation.”
“We didn’t realize how close it was until after vault. I’m excited we won the bronze medal!”
- Kerri Strug: “We had a lot of new people on the team, and it was a good experience. We hope to do better in Atlanta.
- Doni Thompson: “I’m surprised we medaled. We hit the best we could, but it was really close!”
- Bela Karolyi, head coach: “We’re always expecting to win a medal, but with all the circumstances surrounding this team, things didn’t look strong and sturdy. Each day things went better and better. It was a tremendous effort.
“It was incredible when Dominique did a good second vault and we won the bronze medal!”
- Steve Nunno, assistant coach: “Shannon was going to scratch vault and floor because of a foot injury. We started the competition on bars and then beam, and she decided to go for it. We took out some of her difficult tumbling on floor, and she got through it. Her fighting spirit carried the team to the bronze medal.
- Neil Resnick, coach of Mary Beth Arnold: “For Mary Beth’s first time out, she did okay. It was a great opportunity to be on a medal team. Being the second alternate and having the opportunity to participate was beyond belief. “
- Mary Lee Tracy, assistant coach: “I’m extremely excited for the team. Everyone did their job. I’m disappointed for Jaycie. She wasn’t 100%, but the medal overrides the disappointment.”