Houston Comets’ Sheryl Swoopes and Houston’s gymnastics greats Kim Zmeskal, Dominique Moceanu and Bela Karolyi Also Named Judges
Indianapolis – 1984 Olympic Gold Medalist, and Houston’s own Mary Lou Retton will reunite with her legendary coach Bela Karolyi and an all-star cast of gymnasts and celebrity judges for the 2001 Reese’s Gymnastics Cup, an entertainment style team competition, scheduled for December 1 at the University of Houston’s Hofheinz Pavilion at 7 p.m.
Retton, the first American ever to win an all-around gold medal for the United States, has remained a strong influence in the sport ever since her medal winning performance vaulted her to fame in 1984. Her five medals won in the 1984 Olympic Games were the most won by any athlete that year, and her performance ranks as a historic turning point for gymnastics in the United States.
“Mary Lou’s gold was the biggest thing to happen to gymnastics in the United States,” said Bob Colarossi, USA Gymnastics President. “It inspired countless young girls to dream that they could one day reach the top of the sport. There is no question that she represents the single greatest influence in the sport.”
Residing in Houston, Retton and Karolyi have remained friends over the years. In 2001, the two partnered to co-chair National Gymnastics Day, the annual one-day celebration of gymnastics across the country. This year, National Gymnastics Day raised nearly $50,000 for the Children’s Miracle Network through a national “Cartwheel-a-Thon.”
Retton’s latest project is “Mary Lou’s Flip Flop Shop”, a physical education television show for children that she co-produces. Her goal with this program is to educate and entertain children through the use of physical movement.
Joining Retton and Karolyi to judge the 2001 Reese’s Gymnastics Cup are celebrities from the sports world including 1991 World Gymnastics Champion Kim Zmeskal, 1996 Olympic Gold Medalist and Houston resident Dominique Moceanu, 2000 and 1996 Olympian Blaine Wilson and the Houston Comets’ Sheryl Swoopes.
Swoopes is no stranger to Olympic success, having helped the U.S. basketball team to gold in 2000 and 1996. She is a four-time WNBA champion and was the WNBA MVP in 2000, leading the league in scoring and steals. A former Texas Tech standout, Swoopes is originally from Brownfield, Texas.
An impressive roster of athletes has been established for the Reese’s Cup, including many 2001 World Championships team members fresh off medal winning performances. Among the competitors is Houston’s Sean Townsend, who earned a World Championships gold medal on parallel bars and helped the team to it’s first ever silver medal. A complete roster will be announced next week.
Tickets for the Reese’s Gymnastics Cup are available at the University of Houston Box Office, all Ticketmaster outlets, charge by phone at 713-629-3700 and Ticketmaster.com. Please visit 2001 Reese’s Gymnastics Cup for more information.