Landing on My Feet: A Diary of Dreams by Kerri StrugWho can forget that golden moment in the 1996 Summer Olympics when athlete Kerri Strug completed her final vault that helped the U.S. win its first-ever team gymnastics gold medal? It was a crowd pleaser that resonated around the world.In this fascinating autobiography, now available in paperback, Kerri Strug comes to life as the brave young gymnast who struggled for years in the shadows of flashier athletes, then secured her place in the Olympic pantheon for her brilliant success under fire. Throughout the pages of this engaging book, the 88-pound, 4-foot 9-inch Strug seems larger than life as she follows her own personal dream. From her home in Tucson, Arizona, where she entered her first competition at age eight, to tenacious training with coaches in Texas, Florida, Oklahoma, and Colorado, Strug pursues her gymnastic goal with guts and determination. The book also provides a lengthy, detailed you were there glimpse into the Olympic experience -- from the trials to arriving in Atlanta.
23 Years Ago, Kerri Strug Stuck the Landing and Became an American Hero
Kerri is a two-time Olympian and gold medalist. She was the youngest Olympian at the Olympics in Barcelona, Spain at age As the team competition neared its end, Kerri was up last on vault. After shocking spectators by falling and injuring her ankle on her first vault, she managed to stick the landing on her second vault before collapsing in pain, helping to secure gold for the American team. It was a moment that landed Kerri on the front page of newspapers around the world and catapulted her into the spotlight. She was only eighteen years old.
It was a fearless group that embodied the heart of champion under pressure. Nobody displayed that more than Kerri Strug at the Olympics. You see, back then, Team USA was not the juggernaut it is today. Russia and Romania were clearly the teams to beat. Before the Atlanta Olympics, the Americans only had one silver medal in the team all-around in , and two bronze medals, including the Olympics in Barcelona. These are only part of what made the first gold medal so special.
It's prime time on July 23, , and millions are glued to their TVs. It's the Olympic women's gymnastics finals, and for the first time in history, the U. Kerri Strug is standing at the end of the vault runway, pumping her foot, clearly injured. From the sidelines, her coach, Bela Karolyi, yells, "You can do it! Strug had just fallen on her first vault. Her teammate, Dominique Moceanu, had fallen on both her attempts. A team win rests on Strug's final vault.
We take a pictorial look at what some well-known Olympians from the past are now doing in their careers. This month, we focus on US gymnast Kerri Strug.
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Strug began training in gymnastics at the age of three. She began competing in gymnastics at the age of eight. Her sister Lisa was already competing in gymnastics at the time that Strug was born. At that time, she also joined the United States National Team. In , at age 14, she won a team bronze medal at the Barcelona Olympics ,  at which she was the youngest member of the entire U. Throughout the Team Compulsories and Optionals, she and Kim Zmeskal competed for the final US available spot to compete in the all-around.