COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo., March 16, 2011 – 2008 Olympic team bronze-medalist Joey Hagerty, 28, who trains at the U.S. Olympic Training Center in Colorado Springs, Colo., recently retired from competitive gymnastics. His last competition was the Houston Invitational on March 5, where he was second in the all-around and the USOTC squad won the team title. Hagerty is returning to Rio Rancho, N.M., where he grew up.
"Winning the bronze medal in Beijing was an incredible experience," said Hagerty, who started in gymnastics in 1989. "We were underdogs for a team medal, and to be honest, I surprised a lot of people when I made the team. One thing gymnastics has taught me, and I share with kids, is the importance of never giving up. Making the Olympic team was my long-term goal, and I kept working toward that, even when others counted me out.
"My girlfriend, Ashley Van Orren, and I are leaving Colorado Springs for New Mexico on March 27," said Hagerty, who has trained at the U.S. Olympic Training Center since 2005. "I have spoken with several people and organizations about future opportunities, but have not reached a decision at this point. I am looking forward to being closer to family and friends while deciding what’s next."
In addition to the Olympic team bronze medal, Hagerty’s international success includes third at the 2009 American Cup; the team bronze medal at the 2007 Pan American Games; and the team gold medal and horizontal bar bronze at the 2005 Pan American Championships.
At the 2008 Olympic Team Trials – Gymnastics, he was second in the all-around and had the top scores for both the floor exercise and the horizontal bar. During his career, he won the U.S. high bar title in 2008, two parallel bars silver medals (2005, 2009) and the bronze for the all-around (2008) and parallel bars (2007). Hagerty won the all-around, floor exercise and parallel bars at the 2009 Winter Cup Challenge, as well as finished second on the horizontal bar. He also won the high bar at the 2007-08 Winter Cup.
Prior to relocating to the U.S. Olympic Training Center and working with Vitaly Marinitch, Hagerty trained at Gold Cup Gymnastics with Brandy Wood and Ed Burch.
"Gymnastics has been my life for a long time, and I want to thank my family, Vitaly, Alex (Shchennikov), Brandy, Ed and USA Gymnastics for all of their help and support while I pursued my Olympic dream," said Hagerty.