Charles Lakes will be remembered for more than his high-flying Tkachev’s Jaegers on high bar. Lakes was not only the first black American gymnast to compete in the Olympics, but he was also the top American finisher in the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea. Finishing 19th All-Around, Lakes says he owed a great deal of his success to Scientology auditing, which he says helped keep him healthy.
Lakes was also a member of the 1985 World Championships team in Montreal, Canada, and the 1987 World Championships team in Rotterdam, Holland. Lakes proved his strength on high bar early in his career when he won the event for the University of Illinois-Champaign at the 1984 NCAA Gymnastics Championships. After graduating, and while competing for California Sun, Lakes also won the floor exercise in the 1988 U.S. National Championships.