USA Gymnastics enjoys golden year in 2012
posted on 12/12/2012

© John Cheng

INDIANAPOLIS, Dec. 12, 2012 - Led by the gold-medal winning U.S. women's gymnastics team, USA Gymnastics experienced considerable success in 2012. In addition to the success at the Olympic Games, the nation's best gymnasts earned medals throughout the year at various meets around the world. The highly successful Kellogg's Tour of Gymnastics Champions provided the perfect wrap to the year, allowing more than 250,000 fans in 40 cities to cheer for the USA's top gymnasts.

"Our athletes captured the imagination and hearts of viewers around the globe during the Olympic Games and provided some of the most compelling performances on the world stage," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. "USA Gymnastics had a busy year that was highlighted by some wonderful moments, and we thank our fans, sponsors, athletes and professional members for their ongoing support and passion for our sport. From beginning the year at the AT&T American Cup in Madison Square Garden, through the medal winning performances at the Olympic Games, and ending with the 40-city celebration of the Kellogg's Tour, we have had a great year."

Here is a brief look at some of the highlights from 2012.

  • Team USA won six medals at the 2012 Olympic Games, including three gold. The women's team gold medal was the USA's first since 1996 and the second ever. The all-around victory by Gabrielle Douglas of Virginia Beach, Va./Chow's Gymnastics and Dance, marked the third-straight American win in the category. Aly Raisman of Needham, Mass./Brestyan's American Gymnastics, became the first American woman to win the floor exercise gold medal, and Danell Leyva of Miami, Fla./Team Hilton HHonors (Universal Gymnastics), grabbed the first U.S. men's individual all-around medal at the Olympics since Paul Hamm won in 2004.

  • Savannah Vinsant of Lafayette, La./T&T Express, became the first American to advance to the finals in trampoline at the Olympics in London.

  • 2012 was the first time the United States qualified for the Olympics in every discipline: men's and women's gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics and men's and women's trampoline.

  • The United States won 63 medals at the Kellogg's Pacific Rim Championships, including men's and women's gymnastics (36), rhythmic gymnastics (18), and men's and women's trampoline (9).

  • Based on performances at the most recent World Championships, the USA has earned berths to the 2013 World Games, July 25-Aug. 4, in Cali, Colombia, in men's and women's tumbling, double-mini trampoline and synchronized trampoline; rhythmic gymnastics; and acrobatic gymnastics' women's pair and group.

The top accomplishments for women's and men's gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling and acrobatic gymnastics are outlined below, by discipline.


Women's Gymnastics
  • Olympic Games, July 27-Aug. 12. The U.S. women easily won the team gold medal, remaining the only country in the world to win a team medal at every World Championships and Olympic Games where a team competition was contested since 2000. With this performance, The Fierce Five℠ won the first team gold medal since Atlanta's Magnificent Seven and just the second ever.

    • The U.S. women won the Olympic team gold for the second time ever (1996, 2012), beating second-place Russia by more than five points. The Fierce Five ran away with the competition, hitting all twelve routines in the team final. The members of the U.S. team were: Douglas; McKayla Maroney of Long Beach, Calif./All-Olympia; Raisman; Kyla Ross of Aliso Viejo, Calif./Gym-Max; and Jordyn Wieber of DeWitt, Mich./Gedderts' Twistars USA.
    • Douglas became the fourth U.S. woman and third consecutive to win the all-around gold medal. She is also the first American to win both the all-around and team gold medals.
    • Raisman won the first-ever gold medal on the floor exercise for Team USA, as well as the bronze medal on the balance beam.
    • Douglas and Raisman join Shannon Miller as the only U.S. female gymnasts to win two Olympic gold medals.
    • Maroney won the vault silver medal.

  • AT&T American Cup, March 3. Wieber started 2012 by winning the AT&T American Cup at the world famous Madison Square Garden in New York City. The title was the third American Cup victory of Wieber's career. Raisman finished second.

  • Kellogg's Pacific Rim Championships, March 16-18. The American women won 15 medals at the Kellogg's Pacific Rim Championships, including 10 gold. Earning senior top honors were: Wieber, all-around and floor exercise; Ross, balance beam; and Douglas, uneven bars. In the junior division, the USA swept the gold medals: Katelyn Ohashi of Plano, Texas/WOGA, all-around, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise; and Lexie Priessman of Cincinnati, Ohio/Cincinnati Gymnastics, vault. The U.S. squad also won the combined junior/senior team competition.

  • City of Jesolo Trophy, March 31. At the 2012 City of Jesolo Trophy, the American women's junior and senior teams combined for 24 medals, four more than they picked up in 2011. In addition to the senior and junior team titles, individual champions included Ross, all-around, uneven bars and balance beam; Maroney, vault; Priessman, all-around and vault (junior); and Ohashi, uneven bars and balance beam (junior).

  • Visa Championships, June 7-10. Wieber won her second consecutive Visa Championships all-around title, while Alicia Sacramone of Winchester, Mass./Brestyan's American Gymnastics, won a record sixth national title on the vault.

  • U.S. Olympic Trials, June 28-July 1. Douglas took top all-around honors at the Trials, finishing ahead of Wieber and Raisman.

  • Mexican Open, Oct. 12-13. Brenna Dowell of Lenexa, Kan./Great American Gymnastics Express, won four gold medals at the Mexican Open, including the all-around, vault, uneven bars and floor exercise.

  • World Cup, Dec. 1 and 8. Elizabeth Price of Coopersburg, Pa./Parkettes National Gymnastics Center, won two World Cup all-around titles in eight days. Price, who was a 2012 Olympic team alternate, won the all-around title at both the World Cup in Stuttgart, Germany, on Dec. 1 and, one week later, at the World Cup in Glasgow, Scotland, on Dec. 8. In Stuttgart, Price took top honors with her 58.098 total that included a 15.733 on vault, 14.933 on uneven bars, 13.166 on balance beam and a 14.266 on floor exercise. In Glasgow, Price had the highest score on all four events and easily won the title with a total of 59.165, besting the runner up by 4.366 points. Her individual event scores were: vault, 15.900; uneven bars, 14.966; balance beam, 14.033; and floor exercise, 14.266.


Men's Gymnastics
  • Olympic Games. The U.S. team of Jake Dalton of Reno, Nev./University of Oklahoma; Jonathan Horton of Houston/Team Hilton HHonors (Cypress Gymnastics); Leyva; Sam Mikulak of Newport Coast, Calif./University of Michigan; and John Orozco of Bronx, N.Y./Team Hilton HHonors (U.S. Olympic Training Center) finished in fifth place, after recording the highest team total in the qualifying round. Leyva won the all-around bronze medal, the first for the American men since 2004. All five team members qualified for either the all-around or individual event finals.

  • AT&T American Cup. Leyva won the all-around title at the AT&T American Cup in New York City, while teammate Orozco finished fifth.

  • Other international competitions. Steven Legendre of Port Jefferson, N.Y./Team Hilton HHonors (University of Oklahoma), won the floor exercise gold medal and the vault silver medal at the World Cup in China, as well as claimed the silver medal at the Visa International Gymnastics event in London. At the World Cup in Cottbus, Germany, Paul Ruggeri of Manlius, N.Y./University of Illinois, earned the horizontal bar silver medal, with Orozco capturing the event's bronze.

  • Kellogg's Pacific Rim Championships. The U.S. men picked up seven gold medals at the Kellogg's Pacific Rim Championships, including the team title. Chris Brooks of Houston/Team Hilton HHonors (Cypress Gymnastics), led the way with three individual crowns (all-around, still rings and high bar), and Dalton (floor) and Sean Melton of Orlando, Fla./U.S. Olympic Training Center, (vault, parallel bars) added three more golds to Team USA's haul.

  • Visa Championships. Orozco won his first senior U.S. all-around title at the Visa Championships in St. Louis, Mo. Previously, Orozco picked up three straight junior titles (2007-09).

  • U.S. Olympic Trials. Leyva took top honors in the men's all-around in the combined rankings for the Trials and Visa Championships. Orozco was second, followed by Horton.

  • Mexican Open. Donnell Whittenburg of Baltimore, Md./Ultimate Gymnastics, earned the silver medal on the floor exercise, in addition to finishing eighth in the all-around.


Rhythmic gymnastics
  • Olympic Games. Julie Zetlin of Bethesda, Md./Capital Rhythmics, represented the United States in rhythmic gymnastics at the 2012 Olympic Games in London. Zetlin, who finished 21st in the all-around, was Team USA's first representative in rhythmic gymnastics at the Olympics since 2004.

  • Kellogg's Pacific Rim Championships. The U.S. team at the Kellogg's Pacific Rim Championships earned 18 medals, including the team gold medal. Individual champions were Zetlin, all-around, ball, ribbon; Polina Kozitskiy of Fountainville, Pa./Philadelphia Rhythmic Academy, hoop; Laura Zeng of Libertyville, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic, ribbon (jr.); and Julia Garbuz of Eden Prairie, Minn./NorthWest Rhythmic, hoop, ball (jr.).

  • USA Gymnastics Championships, June 27-28. Rebecca Sereda of Staten Island, N.Y./Isadora, won the senior all-around title, the first of her career, at the USA Gymnastics Rhythmic Championships in San Jose, Calif. Sereda also won the ball and clubs crowns, with the ribbon and hoop titles going to Zetlin and Kozitskiy, respectively.

  • Other international events.

    • Opal Cup. Jazzy Kerber of Highland Park, Ill./North Shore Rhythmic, won bronze medals in the all-around and all four events at the Opal Cup in Calais, France.
    • Dundee Cup. Kerber picked up the all-around bronze medal at the Dundee Cup in Sofia, Bulgaria.
    • Moscow Senior Tournament. Sereda earned the all-around bronze at the Moscow (Russia) Senior Tournament.
    • Junior Pan American Championships. The rhythmic group from the United States swept the competition at the Junior Pan American Championships, winning three gold medals.


Trampoline and tumbling
  • Olympic Games. Vinsant became the first American to advance to the trampoline finals at the Olympics, where she finished sixth. Steven Gluckstein of Atlantic Highlands, N.J./ETA, was 16th.

  • Visa International Gymnastics, Jan. 13. Gluckstein finished in 10th place to clinch a U.S. men's berth to the 2012 Olympic Games in London at the Visa International Gymnastics event in London, which served as the Olympic test event.

  • Kellogg's Pacific Rim Championships. Team USA won nine medals in trampoline at the Kellogg's Pacific Rim Championships, highlighted by Gluckstein's silver medal in men's trampoline.

  • USA Gymnastics Trampoline Championships, June 26-27. Steven Gluckstein and Vinsant won the men's and women's U.S. trampoline titles, as well as earned berths on the U.S. Olympic Team. The men's and women's teams of Michael Devine of Winnebago, Ill./J and J Tumbling and Trampoline Team, and Jeffrey Gluckstein of Atlantic Heights, N.J./ETA Gymnastics, and Shanelle Landry of ETA/Lafayette, La., and Alicia Powder of Ladera Ranch, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics, earned this year's synchronized trampoline national titles.

  • U.S. Elite Championships, July 4-8. The senior U.S. champions determined at the U.S. Elite Championships in Long Beach, Calif., were: tumbling - Kalon Ludvigson of Pocatello, Idaho/Team Revolution, and Marina Moskalenko of Saint Cloud, Fla./Stick It Gymnastics; and double mini-trampoline - Erin Jauch of Crystal Lake, Ill./Fox Valley Tumbling and Trampoline, and Austin White of Newport Coast, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics.

  • World Cup series. Vinsant became just the second American woman to medal at a World Cup in individual trampoline competition when she won the bronze at the Taiyuan World Cup in China. Dakota Earnest of Plains, Texas/Acrospirits, and Alicia Powder of Ladera Ranch, Calif./World Elite Gymnastics, won the silver medal in synchronized trampoline at the Loule World Cup. Ludvigson won the gold medal in tumbling at the Sofia World Cup.

  • Loule Cup. Team USA won 40 medals at Loule Cup in Portugal across the senior, junior and Olympic Development Program levels, including 12 team division awards. Senior medalists were: Kristle Lowell of Orland Park, Ill./Branch Gymnastics, and White, gold, double-mini trampoline; and the men's and women's double-mini teams, gold.

  • Flanders Cup. Cody Gesuelli of Middletown, N.J./ETA, won the junior men's trampoline title, as well as a bronze in double-mini trampoline.

  • International Frivolten Cup. Hunter Brewster of Lafayette, La./T&T Express, won the bronze medal in men's trampoline.

  • Pan American Trampoline and Tumbling Championships. The USA won four medals at the Pan Am Championships in Santiago de Queretaro, Mexico. Kalon Ludvigson of Pocatello, Idaho/Team Revolution, and Marina Moskalenko of St. Cloud, Fla./Stick It Gymnastics, won the men's and women's tumbling gold medals. Kristle Lowell of Orland Park, Ill./Branch Gymnastics, earned the women's silver medal in the double mini-trampoline. Austin Nacey of Braidwood, Ill./TwistStars Tumbling and Trampoline, claimed the men's tumbling bronze.


Acrobatic gymnastics
  • World Championships, April 16-18. The U.S. Team qualified for the finals in all three disciplines it entered: women's group, women's pair and mixed pair. This earned the USA invitations to the 2013 World Games in Cali, Colombia. The USA hosted the discipline's largest World Championships to date and the first championships held in North America. The World Age Group Competition was held in conjunction with the World Championships.

  • Gutenberg Cup. The USA won the all-around title in the senior mixed pair competition (Eirian Smith of Livermore, Calif., and Kyle Bloom of San Jose, Calif., both of West Coast Training Center), as well as in the junior women's trio and the age-group women's pair and trio.


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