In 2004, Patterson became the first US woman to win the Olympic all-around gold medal since Mary Lou Retton in 1984. She also claimed team and balance beam silver medals at the 2004 Olympic Games.
At the 2003 World Championships, Patterson earned gold and silver medals, respectively, in the team and all-around events. She won U.S. titles in the all-around (tie) and floor exercise in 2004 and was the 2002 U.S. junior all-around champion.
In 2004, Patterson was named USA Gymnastics Co-Athlete of the Year, U.S. Olympic Committee Sportswoman of the Year, and U.S. Sports Academy Female Athlete of the Year. In 2003, Patterson and her World Championships teammates were named the USOC’s Team of the Year.
Patterson trained at WOGA in Plano, Texas, and was a member of the junior national team from 2000-2003 and the senior national team from 2004-2005.