INDIANAPOLIS – A standout from the early 1970’s, four from the stellar 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games and the seven who captured the hearts of America at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games comprise the class which will be inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame in ceremonies held in conjunction with the 1998 John Hancock U.S. Gymnastics Championships in Indianapolis next week.
John G. Crosby, Jr., Tim Daggett, Mitch Gaylord, Julianne McNamara, Tracee Talavera and the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games women’s gold-medal team, more commonly known as the “Magnificent 7,” comprise the 36th class to be inducted into the Hall of Fame on Friday, August 21, at an invitation-only ceremony to be held at the Rathskeller Restaurant in Indianapolis. The Hall was begun in 1959, with no induction classes in 1961, 1962 or 1987.
Following are biographies of the inductees.
John G. Crosby, Jr.
John represented the USA on a total of 18 international teams from 1970 to 1975. A high point of his competitive career came at the 1971 Pan American Games in Cali, Colombia, where he won eight medals (two gold, five silver), the most ever won by an athlete in a single Pan American Games. A member of the 1972 Olympic Team, he established himself as one of the best in the world in floor exercise, tying the reigning world champion at the 1971 World Invitational Tournament and winning at least five international gold medals in the event. On the home front, he won six USGF championships and 13 NCAA titles while competing for Southern Connecticut State University. A former aviator with the U.S. Marine Corps, Crosby now resides in El Paso, Texas. Recipient of bachelor’s and master’s degrees from Southern Connecticut State, he earned his Juris Doctorate from Hofstra University in 1997.
Tim is best known as a member of the 1984 Olympic Team which claimed the team gold medal, but he also has an impressive record as an individual competitor. In Los Angeles, he earned a bronze medal on pommel horse, his best event. In an international career that spanned five years, he claimed medals on the pommel horse six times, including five golds. At the 1987 Pan American Games in Indianapolis, he helped the team to the gold medal, took the same in pommel horse and was the all-around bronze medalist. From 1983 to 1987, he never placed lower than fifth in the all-around at the National Championships, World Team Trials or Olympic Trials, winning the 1985 World Team Trials and the 1986 National Championships. Tim now owns and operates Tim Daggett’s Gold Medal Gymnastics and is a color commentator for NBC Sports.
Mitch completed 11 years in competitive gymnastics on a high note: as a member of the gold-medal men’s squad at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. He also tied for the silver in vault and claimed bronze medals on the rings and parallel bars. The four medals are the most won by an American male gymnast at an Olympic Games. They capped a five-year career at the international level, during which he performed two skills which now bear his name: the Gaylord Flip and the Gaylord Two, both of which still are ranked among the most difficult and spectacular feats in gymnastics. During a stretch from 1982 to 1984, he slipped from the top two in all-around in domestic competitions only once, at the 1983 World Championships Team Trials. Along the way he took gold at five major events, including the NCAA Championships and two USGF National Championships. Since his retirement from competitive gymnastics, Mitch has embarked on an acting career, with a starring role in “American Anthem,” stunt double work in “Batman Forever” and appearances in a variety of commercials. Gaylord, his wife and three children recently relocated from Southern California to Florida.
Julianne McNamara Ziele
Julianne’s international career began with an Olympics that wasn’t and closed with an Olympics that’s tough to top. Scheduled to make her international debut at the 1980 Olympic Games in Moscow, she saw that dream end with the U.S. boycott. Four years later, though, she was part of the 1984 squad which earned the team silver medal in Los Angeles. She added a gold medal in uneven bars and a silver in floor exercise. The gold on bars was the USA’s only women’s Olympic gold medal on an individual event until Shannon Miller’s balance beam gold in Atlanta. During her international career, Julianne won a total of 11 medals in all-around, including seven golds. Since her retirement, she has explored acting, including a starring role in feature films and a number of television appearances. In January 1989, she married Todd Ziele, a major league baseball player currently with the Texas Rangers.
When Tracee made her debut on the international scene, she did it in a big way, winning the 1980 American Cup in New York City. She concluded her career as a member of the American squad which won the silver team medal at the 1984 Los Angeles Olympic Games. Along the way, she won a total of 11 all-around medals in domestic competition, nine of which were gold. In three American Cups, she won a gold and two silver medals in all-around, helping pave the way for the current era of success USA women now enjoy in the sport.
1996 Women’s U.S. Olympic Team
Dubbed the “Magnificent 7,” the women’s team which competed at the 1996 Atlanta Olympic Games lived up to the sobriquet by claiming the team gold medal, the first for an American gymnastics team in a full-participation Olympic Games. The septet of Amanda Borden, Amy Chow, Dominique Dawes, Shannon Miller, Dominique Moceanu, Jaycie Phelps and Kerri Strug came together with their gritty, unwavering determination and outstanding talent to electrify the Georgia Dome crowd and millions of television viewers, providing one of the truly defining moments of the Atlanta Olympic Games.