INDIANAPOLIS, Ind., Aug. 9, 2005 – Three-time Olympian Blaine Wilson of Columbus, Ohio, has decided after more than 11 years on the senior national team and 15 national titles to retire from competitive gymnastics. Wilson was a key player in the men’s team’s success at the 2004 Olympic Games, where the squad captured the silver medal for the U.S. men’s best Olympic finish since the 1984 Olympic Games.

“Deciding to retire is one of the hardest decisions I have ever made,”” said Wilson. “I love gymnastics and competing. While the drive is still there, my body knows it’s time. The sport has given me so much, and I can only hope that I have given gymnastics as much as it has given me.”
“Blaine has been a major player in men’s gymnastics for the last decade, and many of the rising talents of today have benefited from having Blaine as a teammate, competitor and mentor,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “Blaine has not only brought glory to men’s gymnastics through his flair and skill on the competitive floor, but also through his colorful personality. He leaves a legacy that has raised the bar for the sport.”
Wilson will be working at Josepheson’s Academy of Gymnastics in Culver City, Calif., as a coach for both boys and girls in addition to appearances, motivational speaking and professional appearances. He is looking forward to also being able to spend more time with his family.
Wilson, who started in gymnastics in 1979, has had a storied and illustrious career. His cache of national titles is impressive: five straight all-around titles; one in the floor exercise; three in both the still rings and the vault; two on the parallel bars; and one on the high bar. Wilson, whose father enrolled him in a gymnastics class at four years old, was the first man to win five consecutive all-around titles since 1963, when USA Gymnastics became national governing body. Before joining the senior national team in 1993, he also was on the junior team for two years.
Last year, Wilson captured the public’s attention when he recovered from a torn biceps tendon in his left arm to qualify for the 2004 Olympic Team and eventually help claim the silver medal. He injured his arm at the 2004 Visa American Cup in late February, which required surgery. In addition to his 2004 Olympic silver team medal, Wilson was also a part of the men’s team that earned the silver team medal at the 2003 World Championships. He competed on four World Championships Teams. He also was a bronze medalist at the 1998 Goodwill Games.
Wilson competed for Ohio State University, which he attended with a major in psychology. He is married with one daughter, Wakaya. His wife, Makare Desilets, is a professional beach volleyball player and the couple has split their time between California and Ohio. In 1997, he received the Jesse Owens Award, presented by the Big Ten Conference to recognize its outstanding male athlete.

Audio clips from Blaine’s press conference:

Blaine Wilson at a glance

  • 2004 Olympic Silver Medal Team
  • 2003 World Artistic Championships Team Silver Medalist
  • 2004, 2000 and 1996 Olympian
  • 2003, 1999, 1997, 1995 World Championships Team Member
  • 1998 Goodwill Games Bronze Medalist
National titles: all-around, 1996-2000; floor exercise, 2000; still rings, 2000 and 2002-03; vault, 1996-97 and 2000; parallel bars, 1997-98; high bar, 2002.

Columbus, Ohio
Residence: Columbus, Ohio
Birth Date/Place: Aug. 3, 1974/Columbus , Ohio
Club: Team Chevron- Ohio State
Coach: Miles Avery
School: Ohio State University
Major: Psychology
Favorite Event: Still Rings
Began Gymnastics: 1979
Years on Jr. National Team: 2 (1991-93)
Years on Sr. National Team: 11½ (1993-04, Fall ’04)
Family: Makare Desilets, wife, and, Wakaya (2.5 years old)
Miscellaneous: Was named for baseball legend Rod Carew and Dallas Cowboy guard Blaine Nye; enjoys golf, soccer and biking

International Competition

2004 Olympic Games, Athens, GRE; 2nd- Team
2004 Visa American Cup, New York, NY, USA ; 3rd -FX, 4th -PH
2003 World Championships, Anaheim, Calif., USA ; 2nd -Team, 6th -PB, 6th -SR
2003 Visa American Cup, Fairfax, Va.; 1st -AA, 1st -FX, 1st -SR, 2nd -V, 1st -PB, 2nd -HB
2002 Li Ning Cup, Beijing, CHN; 3rd -SR
2002 Sino-American Team Competition, Beijing, CHN
2001 10 th France Internationaux Competition, Paris, FRA, SR & PH Finalist
2001 Visa American Cup, Orlando, Fla., USA ; 1st -AA, 2nd -FX, 1st -PH, 1st -SR, 3rd -V, 3rd -PB, T2nd -HB
2000 Olympic Games, Sydney, AUS; 5th -Team, 6th -AA, V Finalist
1999 World Championships, Tianjin, CHN; 4th -AA, 6th -Team
1999 Pontiac International Team Championships, Richmond, Va.; 1st -Team, 2nd -FX, T3rd -PH, 1st -SR
1999 Visa American Cup, St. Petersburg, Fla.; 1st -AA, 2 nd -SR

National Competition

2004 U.S. Olympic Team Trials, Anaheim, Calif., 2004 Olympic Team Member
2004 Winter Cup Challenge, Las Vegas, Nev.; 1st -AA, T1st -SR, 1st -PB
2003 U.S. Championships, Milwaukee, Wis.; 3rd -AA, 3rd -FX, T1st -SR, 2nd -V
2003 Winter Cup Challenge, Las Vegas, Nev.
2002 U.S. Championships, Cleveland, Ohio; 2nd -AA, 1st -SR, 3rd -V, 2nd -PB, 1st -HB
2002 U.S. National Qualifier, Colorado Springs, Colo.
2001 Winter Cup Challenge, Las Vegas, Nev.; 1st -AA, T1st -PB
2000 Olympic Trials, Boston, Mass.; 1st -AA
2000 John Hancock U.S. Gymnastics Championships, St. Louis, Mo.; 1st- AA, 1st -FX, 3rd -PH,
        T1st -SR, 1st -V, 3rd -PB
1999 World Team Trials, Kansas City, Mo; 1st – AA
1999 John Hancock U.S. Gymnastics Championships, Sacramento, Calif ; 1st -AA, 1st -SR, 2n