Perfect 10 Countdown: Going for the Gold Gala 2018 – DAY 8 – Champion Athletes

It’s DAY 8 of the Going for the Gold Gala Perfect 10 Countdown!

We are lucky at the WHGF to have the support of so many champion athletes and trend setters!

From WHGF athletes to Olympic icons, we’re excited that these athletes will be in attendance at this year’s gala:
Olivia Boisson Ballet WHGF Alumna, NYC Ballet
Niahlah Hope Gymnastics WHGF Alumna, Professional Stunt Woman Black Panther & The Avengers
Gail Marquis Basketball 1976 Olympic Medalist, the first year women’s basketball was played in the Olympics
Audrey Smaltz Fashion Fashion Expert Extraordinaire
Collette Smith Football First ever Female Coach for the NY Jets
Phaidra Knight Rugby Three- time Rugby World Cup Participant and Player of the Decade Award Winner
Sharon Monplaisir Fencing Three-Time Olympic Fencer
Alexis Page Gymnastics WHGF Alumna, 3 Time US National Team, National-International Gold Medalist
Paul Williams Handball US Handball Association and NY State Hall of Fame Member
Dawn Riley Sailing First Female America’s Cup Captain
Rose Voisk Gymnastics 1948 Olympic Gymnast
Abie Grossfeld Gymnastics Two-Time Olympian, Five-time Olympic Coach
Toby Towson Gymnastics Six-Time National Champion, International Performer and Choreographer
Dominick Minicucci Gymnastics Two-Time Olympic Gymnast, NCAA Champion, WHGF Board Member
McKenzie Foster Gymnastics WHGF Team Alumna featured in the book I am a Gymnast
Camille Duvall Water Skiing Five-time World Champion Water Skier

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Thank you all for your ongoing support of the Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation!

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We are reaching far and wide for support of our gymnastics programs that have already served over 17,000 youth with free and low cost gymnastics!

Every dollar goes to our gymnastics programs and scholarships – so donate here and please join us!

Find out more info about our Going for the Gold gala here.

 

Take a look at last year’s event

 

Click here to see ALL of our Perfect 10 Countdown posts.

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Perfect 10 Countdown: Going for the Gold Gala 2018 – DAY 4 – Bruno Klaus

It’s DAY 4 of the Going for the Gold Gala Perfect 10 Countdown!

This year, our Spirit of Sport honoree is USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame member Bruno Klaus!

Bruno Klaus began gymnastics at the age of 12 in New York. He competed under Coach Bill Meade at Southern Illinois University. He was also a National Turner Junior and National AAU Junior Champion. Bruno was chosen to be a member of the 1966 U.S. State Department sponsored exhibition gymnastic team that traveled to Europe and Africa. Bruno founded, organized, developed, and served as president of the internationally famous International Gymnastics Camp in Pennsylvania.

Gymnasts have been attending the legendary International Gymnastics Camp for over 40 years. Through its programs and commitment to gymnastics, founder Bruno Klaus has given an unforgettable experience to athletes of all ages. Bruno and IGC have also been longtime supporters of Wendy Hilliard and the Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation. This year, the WHGF is honoring Bruno during its annual gala celebration.

Last year, Bruno was the recipient of the 2017 World Acrobatic Society’s Golden Achievement Award

Watch a video of Bruno recently doing some giants—wow!

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Thank you Bruno for your ongoing support of the Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation!

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We are reaching far and wide for support of our gymnastics programs that have already served over 17,000 youth with free and low cost gymnastics!

Every dollar goes to our gymnastics programs and scholarships – so donate here and please join us!

Find out more info about our Going for the Gold gala here.

 

Take a look at last year’s event

 

Click here to see ALL of our Perfect 10 Countdown posts.

Perfect 10 Countdown: Going for the Gold Gala 2018 – DAY 2 – Bart Conner

It’s DAY 2 of the Going for the Gold Gala Perfect 10 Countdown!

This year, one of our two Champions Award honorees is Olympic gymnast Bart Conner!

Bart is truly one of my favorite gymnasts! We always have such a great time and a few hearty laughs – whether it was performing in a show, commentating TV events together [he has good rhythmic jokes 🙂 ] or meeting up at the Olympics.
He has been a long time supporter of the WHGF and I am so honored that he is taking the time to come to NYC for our Going for the Gold Gala!
Bart Conner is a three-time Olympian (1976, 1980, 1984) and won two gold medals (team and parallel bars) at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. He has been inducted into every sports hall of fame out there: USOC Olympic Hall of Fame, USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame, the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame, and the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame. Today, Bart runs the Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy with his wife Nadia Comaneci.

Watch Bart performing in 1976:

Thank you Bart for your ongoing support of the Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation!

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We are reaching far and wide for support of our gymnastics programs that have already served over 17,000 youth with free and low cost gymnastics!

Every dollar goes to our gymnastics programs and scholarships – so donate here and please join us!

Find out more info about our Going for the Gold gala here.

 

Take a look at last year’s event

 

Click here to see ALL of our Perfect 10 Countdown posts.

Black Gymnasts in History 2018: James Kanati Allen

James Kanati Allen was a pioneer in Men’s Gymnastics for the U.S. A Los Angeles native, James attended UCLA, where he studied phsyicas and earned an all-around bronze medal in the NCAA Championships. He then went on to be the first black male to be named to the U.S. Olympic team (in 1968). After the Olympics, he earned a PhD in physics from the University of Washington.

James passed away in December 2011 but his accomplishments in and out of the gym will always be remembered. We are proud to salute you!

Please take the time to read this profile on James from International Gymnast.

Wendy

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Black Gymnasts in History 2018: Gymnasts with Skills Named After Them

What a unique honor and feat when gymnasts get skills named after them! To do so, gymnasts must successfully complete a skill at a World Championships or an Olympic Games.

Four black U.S. gymnasts have skills named after them that are still included in the current FIG Code of Points. 

Betty Okino
– Uneven bars: clear underswing with 180 degree twist to back flip in stretched position
– Balance beam: triple turn on one leg

Jair Lynch
– High bar: Tkatchev with a half turn prior to the catch to a mixed el-grip and swing back up to handstand

Simone Biles
– Floor exercise: Double layout half out

Donnell Whittenburg
– Still rings: Triple back pike dismount

We are proud to salute these gymnasts who added something new to the sport while at the top of their game!

Wendy

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Black Gymnasts in History 2018: Multi-Year Olympians


It is such a feat to reach Olympian-status in the sport of gymnastics — it is truly the pinnacle of the sport. What’s remarkable is that three Black Gymnasts have not only earned that honor more than once (Dominique Dawes 3x in 1992, 1996 and 2000; Jair Lynch 2x in 1992 and 1996; and Gabby Douglas 2x in 2012 and 2016), they’ve also all won individual medals. Dominique won a bronze on the floor exercise in 1996; Jair won a silver on parallel bars in 1996; and Gabby won a gold in the all-around in 2012.

Please take the time to read these athletes’ individual profiles (click the links above) and enjoy some videos of their performances at multiple Olympics!

Jair Lynch at the 1992 Olympics

Dominique Dawes at the 1992 Olympics

Jair Lynch at the 1996 Olympics

Dominique Dawes at the 1996 Olympics

Dominique Dawes at the 2000 Olympics

Gabby Douglas at the 2012 Olympics

Gabby Douglas at the 2016 Olympics

Wendy

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Black Gymnasts in History 2018: Dave Green

 

dave-green 

Dave Green and Flip City – legends indeed!

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.

Here are a few photos Dave has been kind enough to share.

 

Wendy

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Black Gymnasts in History 2018: The Jesse White Tumbling Team

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Today we feature the Chicago-based Jesse White Tumbling Team.

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/

Check out this video on the tumbling team below.

Today we are proud to salute the incredible Jesse White Tumbling Team as part of our Black Gymnasts in History projecte.

Wendy

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Black Gymnasts in History 2018: NCAA All-Around Champions

 

 

 

 

Corinne and Taqiy made history by winning the women’s and men’s NCAA All-Around Championships, respectively. What a pleasure it is to recount their legacies!

I have known Corrine for some time. She has always been so gracious and, of course, what a great smile!

I always knew she was a great gymnast, and we always had such great respect for each other’s gymnastics. She has had a great career on the national team; in the NCAA as a University of Georgia Bulldog in the ’80s, and now in coaching.

Somewhere along the way Corinne found the time to go to law school, too!

Watch a video of Corinne on the floor exercise at the 1986 Olympic Festival.

Taqiy’s gymnastics and life story is very interesting; as he rose to the top of NCAA Men’s gymnastics, he maintained a 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.

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

Watch a video of Taqiy performing on the pommel horse in 2005.

Corinne Wright and Taqiy Abdullah Simmons, we salute you for our Black Gymnastics in History project!

Wendy

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Black Gymnasts in History 2018: 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.

The story does not stop there – he went on to become a highly respected public official.

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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