INDIANAPOLIS, March 24, 2017 – USA Gymnastics announced today the 2017 USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame inductees: the 2016 U.S. Women’s Olympic Team, also known as the Final Five; Miles Avery of Philadelphia, Pa., men’s Olympic coach and former Ohio State University head coach; Mihai Brestyan of Burlington, Mass., a three-time member of the Women’s Olympic team coaching staff; 2012 Olympic all-around champion and two-time Olympic team gold-medalist Gabby Douglas of Tarzana, Calif.; 2008 Olympic gold medalist Shawn Johnson East; 2008 Olympic silver medalist Chellsie Memmel; and 2000 Olympian Sean Townsend. The induction ceremony is scheduled for Saturday, Aug. 19, at the Anaheim Hilton, in Anaheim, Calif., during the 2017 P&G Gymnastics Championships and USA Gymnastics National Congress & Trade Show. Click here for more information on the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
2016 U.S. Women’s Gold Medal Olympic Team; “The Final Five” - artistic women’s gymnastics
The 2016 U.S. Women’s Gymnastics Olympic Team, made U.S. history at the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro by winning the USA’s second-straight Olympic team gold, a first for the United States and its third overall. The team posted the highest score on each of the four apparatus to secure the dominant victory, beating Russia by more than eight points. In total, the women brought home nine medals (four gold, four silver and one bronze), the most women’s gymnastics Olympic medals won by a single country since the Soviet Union claimed 10 medals at the 1972 Olympics. The team members include: Simone Biles of Spring, Texas; Gabrielle “Gabby” Douglas of Tarzana, Calif.; Lauren “Laurie” Hernandez of Old Bridge, N.J.; Madison Kocian of Dallas; and Alexandra “Aly” Raisman of Needham, Mass.
Miles Avery - artistic men’s gymnastics coach
Avery was a member of the men’s coaching staff at four Olympic Games (1996, 2000, 2004, 2008) and served as head coach of the Ohio State Buckeyes men’s gymnastics team from 1998-2010. He has been the personal coach of a numerous World and Olympic team members and medalists. His impressive list of athletes include: Paul Hamm, five-time World medalist and three-time Olympic medalist, the first U.S. man to win the World and Olympic all-around titles; Blaine Wilson, a five-time U.S. all-around champion, three-time Olympian and 2004 Olympic team silver medalist; Morgan Hamm, 2003 World team silver medalist, two-time Olympian (2000, 2004) and a two-time U.S. floor champion; and Raj Bhavsar, 2008 Olympic team bronze medalist, two-time World team silver medalist (2001, 2003) and 2004 Olympic team alternate. In Avery’s 13 years as head coach at Ohio State University, he led the Buckeyes to the 2001 NCAA title and five Big Ten championships. He also produced three NCAA all-around champions, nine NCAA event champions and 22 All Americans. Miles has earned numerous awards and accolades during his career which include: three-time NCAA Assistant Coach of the Year (1992, 1996-97); 2001 NCAA Coach of the Year; five-time Big Ten Coach of the Year (2001-02, 2005-07); and two-time USA Gymnastics Coach of the Year (2005, 2008). In 2015 and 2016 he was the oldest city finals qualifier on NBC’s American Ninja Warrior. Avery is currently the owner of OSECA Gymnastics and resides in Asheville, N.C., with his family.
Mihai Brestyan - women’s artistic gymnastics coach
Brestyan served as the personal coach of Alicia Sacramone, who won 10 World medals and an Olympic silver medal, and three-time Olympic gold medalist Alexandra “Aly” Raisman, and is the owner of Brestyan American Gymnastics. Sacramone (2008) and Raisman (2012, 2016) both served as team captains at the Olympic Games. Raisman is a six-time Olympic medalist and was the most decorated U.S. gymnast at the 2012 Olympic Games in London when she earned a total of three medals: two gold (team; floor exercise); and one bronze (balance beam). At the 2016 Olympics, Raisman clinched three more Olympic medals: one gold (team); and two silver (all-around; floor exercise). With Brestyan as their coach, Sacramone and Raisman have an impressive combined total of 21 World and Olympic medals. Brestyan has served as a member of the U.S. Women’s team coaching staff at three Olympic games (2008, 2012, 2016) and numerous World Championships, including the 2007, 2011 and 2015 World Championships where the U.S. Women’s teams earned gold. Brestyan is a three-time USA Gymnastics Coach of the Year recipient (2005, 2011, 2013). Raised in Romania, Brestyan attended Timisora University where he earned his degree in physical education sciences and Coaching School in Bucharest. He went on to serve as national team coach for both Romania and Israel. Currently, Brestyan resides in Boston with his wife Silvia and son Radu.
Gabrielle “Gabby” Douglas - women’s artistic gymnastics
As a two-time Olympian and three-time Olympic gold medalist, Douglas was the first African-American to win the Olympic all-around title. After helping the United States to team gold at the 2011 World Championships, she went on to earn the all-around gold medal at the 2012 Olympics, where she and her teammates won the team gold medal. In 2012, she was awarded the Associated Press Female Athlete of the Year and Women's Sports Foundation's Sportswoman of the Year. After a two-year hiatus from the sport, Douglas returned to capture the silver all-around medal at the 2015 World Championships and assisted her team in obtaining the team gold medal. Her accomplishments at the 2015 World Championship made history, as she became the first female reigning Olympic all-around champion to return to the World Championships and win an all-around medal since 1981. The following year she won the 2016 AT&T American Cup and captured the City of Jesolo Trophy all-around and team titles. During the 2016 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, Douglas became the first U.S. Olympic women’s all-around champion to make a second Olympic Team and the first reigning champion to return to the Games since Nadia Comaneci. As a member of the Final Five, Douglas helped the women win USA’s second-straight Olympic team gold medal. Douglas trained at Buckeye Gymnastics in Columbus, Ohio, leading up to the 2016 Olympics. In 2012, she trained at Chow’s Gymnastics and Dance in West Des Moines, Iowa. Currently, Douglas resides in Los Angeles.
Shawn Johnson (East) - women’s artistic gymnastics
The 2007 World all-around champion, Johnson won four medals at the 2008 Olympics (gold, balance beam; silver, team, all-around, floor exercise). Johnson’s 2008 Olympic achievements not only earned the U.S. their second-straight Olympic team silver, but made history by making her just the second U.S. gymnast to win an Olympic gold medal on the balance beam. Johnson’s senior competitive career began in 2007 where she earned the all-around title at the 2007 Tyson American Cup. At the 2007 Visa Championships, Johnson won three U.S. titles, taking the top spots in the all-around, balance beam and floor exercise competitions. She concluded her impressive 2007 season at the World Championships where she helped Team USA to the team gold medal, while collecting individual gold in the all-around and on the floor. Johnson won her second senior U.S. all-around title at the 2008 Visa Championships and was the all-around champion at the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Trials. Johnson took a two-year hiatus from gymnastics after 2008 Olympics, returning to competition in 2011 when she and her teammates earned team gold at the Pan American Games. Individually, she added the silver medal on the uneven bars. In 2009, Johnson appeared on and won ABC’s “Dancing with the Stars,” was the recipient of the 79th AAU James E. Sullivan Award, and was awarded an ESPY for Best U.S. Female Olympian. Johnson announced her retirement from the sport in 2012. Johnson trained at Chow’s Gymnastics in West Des Moines, Iowa. Currently, she resides in Nashville with her husband Andrew, and serves as a motivational speaker.
Chellsie Memmel - women’s artistic gymnastics
Only the third U.S. woman to achieve world all-around gold, Memmel earned a total six World medals (three gold, three silver) and an Olympic silver medal during her impressive competitive career. Originally named second alternate for the 2003 World Championships team, Memmel, led Team USA to its first-ever World team gold medal. She closed out the 2003 World Championships in style, tying with teammate Hollie Vise for the gold medal on the uneven bars. The following year she was named as an alternate to the 2004 Olympic team. In 2005, she made history by becoming the first U.S. woman to win the World all-around title since Shannon Miller in 1994, and earned two silver medals in the event finals on the uneven bars and balance beam. At the 2006 World Championships, Memmel’s performance in the team final was instrumental in the USA’s team silver medal. She was the bronze medalist in the all-around at the 2008 Visa Championships and was named to the 2008 U.S. Women’s Olympic Team. Despite a broken bone in her ankle, Memmel performed on the uneven bars at the 2008 Olympics, helping the U.S. team earn their second consecutive Olympic team silver medal. After the 2009 Visa Championships, Memmel took a short competitive break and returned for the 2011 CoverGirl Classic, where she earned the all-around silver medal. While injuries hampered Memmel’s attempt to make the 2012 Olympic Team, she was a cast member for the 2012 Kellogg’s Tour of Champions that performed in 40 cities throughout the United States. Memmel, trained at M&M Gymnastics and she continues to play an important role within the sport as both a coach and a Brevet-rated judge. She served as an official at the 2016 P&G Gymnastics Championships and the 2016 U.S. Olympic Trials for women’s gymnastics. Memmel currently resides in Dousman, Wisc., with her husband, Kori and their son.
Sean Townsend - men’s artistic gymnastics
Townsend was a member of the 2000 U.S. Olympic Team and a member of three World Championships teams (1999, 2001-02). At the 2001 World Championships, he earned the gold medal on parallel bars, the first U.S. male to earn an individual gold medal since 1979 and helped his team bring home the silver medal. A Sullivan Award finalist, Townsend captured four gold medals at the 2001 U.S. National Championships (all-around, floor exercise, parallel bars and still rings). He won his second-straight U.S. parallel bars crown at the 2002 U.S. Championships and was a member of the men’s 2002 World Championships team. Townsend served as a U.S. Men’s National Team member for 10 years. During his tenure, he represented the United States at numerous international competitions, which included appearing in five American Cup (1999, 2001-03, 2005) and five World Cup (1999, 2002, 2005-07) events. Townsend clinched his first World Cup medal by capturing bronze on the floor exercise at the 1999 Paris World Cup, and he was the parallel bars silver medalist and still rings bronze medalist in 2001. Townsend added three additional World Cup medals (one silver and two bronze) to his resume in 2002. Additionally, he claimed parallel bars bronze at the 2006 Glasgow World Cup and placed second on the horizontal bar at the 2007 Paris World Cup. In total, Townsend garnered eight World Cup medals (three silver and five bronze). Today, Townsend remains highly active in the sport as both a club owner, coach, and gymnastics educator. Townsend owns Pearland Gymnastics Academy in Pearland, Texas, where he resides with his wife and two children.
Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States. Its mission is to encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence in the sport. Its disciplines include men's and women's artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, acrobatic gymnastics, and group gymnastics (known internationally as Gymnastics for All). For more information, log on to www.usagym.org