Black Gymnasts in History: Gabby Douglas

screen-shot-2017-02-25-at-5-13-27-pmGabby!!

There is something about great athletes when everyone knows them by their first name!

The top prize in Women’s Gymnastics is the All-Around Olympic Gold Medal. The Olympics is just its own event, and nothing matches the anticipation, pressure, intensity and drama.

I was fortunate to be able to attend this event at the 2012 Games thanks to my friend, Shane Geraghty, who gave me his ticket! He saw in my eyes that I just had to see this live. It was as dramatic and edge-of-the-seat thrilling as any sport event I have ever seen.

Adding to the Olympic Gold was her Silver Medal at the 2015 World Championships and her performance at the 2016 Olympics, where she helped the “Final Five” win a team gold medal. Wow wow wow! It is so rare for an Olympic Champion to come back at a World Championships and an Olympic Games like Gabby did.

The impact of her win along with her comeback resonates strongly. She opened the door wide open and inspired so many to the possibility of greatness.

Today for Black Gymnasts in History we salute 2012 Olympic Champion Gabrielle “Gabby” Douglas.

Watch Gabby in action—her Olympic all-around title-winning routines at the 2012 Olympic Games: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xX23iuXswgI

Wendy

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Black Gymnasts in History: Simone Biles

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Simone!!!

What more can you say—just one of the best gymnasts in history.

As part of our month-long Black Gymnasts in History project, we are proud to salute the reigning Olympic All-Around Champion and the most successful female World Champion Gymnast EVER, Simone Biles!

See Simone in action—her final consecutive medal-winning routine at the 2016 Olympics: http://www.nbcolympics.com/video/simone-biles-unreal-floor-exercise-win-gold

Wendy

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Black Gymnasts in History: Sid Oglesby

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Read our profile on Sid from 2016: 

Sid Oglesby- now this is a gem. Thank you, Abie Grossfeld.

The first Black NCAA National Event Champion in 1964!! Wow.

And the story does not stop there – Sid went on to become a highly respected public official.

Another important find is that Sid Oglesby, having to put up with extensive hardship, also successfully advocated to ban Syracuse University’s interscholastic competition with segregated schools in the 1960s.

Take the time to read his story:
http://www.syracuse.com/empire/index.ssf/2015/12/how_a_5_bet_led_syracuses_sid_oglesby_to_a_life_confronting_races_ugly_head.html

Sid Oglesby, we are truly honored to recognize you today for our Black Gymnasts in History Project.

Wendy

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Black Gymnasts in History: Olympic Coaches

screen-shot-2017-02-21-at-6-24-29-pmscreen-shot-2017-02-21-at-6-28-29-pmRead our profile on Olympic coaches from 2016: 

Alan has travelled the world as a coach for several other countries and has instructed a long list of champion athletes on many levels. The journey that brought Annia Hatch to the U.S. National Team, World Championships, and then onto Olympic success after suffering a massive knees injury was masterful indeed.

One must remember that the coaches spend the same amount of hours in a gym as their athletes. Miles and Alan continue to serve our sport as great coaches, and we salute Miles Avery and Alan Hatch today for Black Gymnasts in History.

Read more about Miles here: http://coachmilesavery.com/COACH_MILES_AVERY/COACH_MILES_AVERY.html

See a behind-the-scenes video with Alan here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oZaD_xYY614

Wendy

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Black Gymnasts in History: The Jesse White Tumbling Team

screen-shot-2017-02-20-at-6-18-25-pmRead our profile from 2016:

Today we feature the Jesse White Tumbling Team, based in Chicago.

I have heard so much about this group over the years. The Jesse White Tumblers are legendary in the Midwest, and one must appreciate that the Honorable Jesse White, Illinois Secretary of State, has taken this amazing group around the world to celebrate this sport.

Please take the time to read about this amazing team here: http://jessewhitetumblingteam.com/about/

Here is a great video:

Jessie White Tumbling Team

Today we are proud to salute the incredible Jesse White for Black Gymnasts in History.

Wendy

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Black Gymnasts in History: Dave Green

dave-greenRead our profile on Dave from 2016: 

Dave Green and Flip City – legends indeed! On day two of the Harlem Gymnastics Invitational, I am reminded of Dave Green  because one of our trampoline judges for tomorrow is Pat Henderson, and Roger Walker came in tonight to make sure that our rod floor was marked properly for tumbling. Roger was one of the best tumblers in the world and now he is a great coach; Roger was one of Dave’s students.

The impact of Flip City was immense on so many levels. For the World Champions, for putting Newark on the map (in a positive way), and for providing an outlet for the youth that set them on a path to lead constructive and productive lives.

Oh yes, I am a big big fan–I always look to the success of Flip City and the trailblazing work of David Green. I often reach out when I need advice for my foundation.

We are honored to recognize Dave Green today for our Black Gymnastics in History project.

Please read more about Dave’s career here: http://www.worldacro.com/images/stories/pdf2015/2015%20was%20summer%20newsletter%20%20press%20release%20.pdf

Wendy

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Black Gymnasts in History: Steve Butcher

steve-butcherRead our profile of Steve from 2016: 

As we finish day one of our Harlem Gymnastics Invitational, I am reminded that gymnastics is a sport of rules. Each discipline has a book of rules called the Code of Points! The Code of Points is the responsibility of the Technical Committee of the International Federation of Gymnastics (“FIG”). The President of the Men’s Technical Committee is Steve Butcher!

The Technical Committee is very powerful and, yes, very political. For ten years I was on the USAG Executive Committee with Jackie Fie, who was the President of the Women’s Technical Committee. I was in awe of her knowledge, passion, and fairness, and also how she had to so carefully navigate this international group of gymnastics officials.

I am in awe of Steve Butcher, too- and so so proud!  I have known Steve for many years and it has been amazing to see him rise to the top of our sport. I follow him as he travels the world, holds court at the Olympic Games and makes his mark and sets the stage for the best male gymnasts in the world!

Take the time to read through his profile: http://www.fig-gymnastics.com/site/figNews/view?id=478.  It will give you a different perspective of gymnastics and insights of those that are charged to make the rules for the future of gymnastics.

Today for Black Gymnasts in History we salute Steve Butcher, President of the FIG Men’s Technical Committee.

Wendy

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Black Gymnasts in History: Tasha Schwikert

tasha-schwikert

Read our profile of Tasha from 2016: 

Tasha  — now she is one accomplished gymnast! On so many levels!

Olympics, NCAA, USA, World Championships!

Determination and fortitude are two words that describe her career.

I have known her first coach, Cassie Rice, for years – Cassie put her on the international scene.

And then Valorie Kondos Field, her coach at UCLA – Valorie really brings out the personality in her gymnasts.

They are both standouts for the Pac 12- see below.
http://pac-12.com/article/2016/02/02/pac-12-all-century-womens-gymnastics-team-announced

It is a thrill to profile these great athletes and today we salute Tasha Schwikert for Black Gymnasts in History.

Wendy

Read more on Tasha here: http://www.flogymnastics.com/article/28732-catching-up-with-olympian-tasha-schwikert

Watch Tasha performing on vault at the 2003 World Championships: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mhUbPGpDQ3A

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Black Gymnasts in History: Taqiy Abdullah Simmons

Screen Shot 2017-02-16 at 5.59.00 PM.pngRead our profile on Taqiy from 2016: 

Taqiy made history by winning the Men’s NCAA All-Around title. His gymnastics and life story is very interesting; please take the time to learn about his rise to the top of NCAA Men’s gymnastics while maintaining his commitment to his hometown community.

Taqiy comes from a long line of Oklahoma gymnastics greats.

We congratulate his success and admire his continuing support of the sport through coaching.

Taqiy Abdullah Simmons, we salute you for our Black Gymnastics in History project.

Read more about Taqiy here: http://espn.go.com/espn/blackhistory2008/news/story?id=3229693

Wendy

Watch a video of Taqiy performing on the pommel horse in 2005: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RKORWjTH9fQ

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sheneaboothRead our profile on Shenea from 2016: 

Acrobatics (Sports Acro) is one of my favorite gymnastics disciplines. We had an acro team at the Detroit Metro Gymnasts, and I did some acro choreography back in the day.

I have only been able to watch from the sidelines, but the career that Sheana Booth had along with her partner, Arthur Davis, was incredible.

What has been as impressive as their competitive days is their professional career.

Being a finalist for America’s Got Talent allowed millions to witness their extraordinary skills.

For being one of the top acrobatic gymnasts in the world along with her partner- we are glad to feature Shenea Booth today in our Black Gymnasts in History project.

Read more about Shene and Arthur here: http://www.usghof.org/files/bio/booth_davis/booth_davis.html

Watch a video of Shenea performing with Arthur at the 2002 World Championships: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A7QdR7WrXWs

Wendy

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