Olympic gold medalist Kerri Strug expected to be the best from the beginning. At 14, she became the youngest member of the American gymnastics team that won a bronze in the 1992 Olympics. She went on to compete in five World Championships, performing on three medal-winning teams.
Prior to the 1996 Olympics, Kerri spent four years of turmoil struggling to improve her skills. Her coach, the legendary Bela Karolyi, retired and Kerri bounced between coaches for three years, unable to adjust to anything less than Karolyi's challenging practice regimen. Karolyi ultimately came out of retirement and they immediately reunited. Kerri was happy to work with him, confident he would help her improve.
At the 1996 Olympics, her determination paid off in dramatic fashion. Unaware that Team USA had already won the gold, Kerri performed her second vault while injured. She landed and then collapsed, forcing Karolyi to charge the floor and carry her off the mat. When Karolyi carried her onto the medal stand the crowd roared, a sure sign that Kerri's courage and dedication embodied the Olympic spirit.
Kerri received her Bachelor and Master degrees from Stanford University. For a period of time, Kerri was a 2nd grade teacher in the San Francisco Bay area. Kerri moved to Washington, DC in 2003 and now works for the United States Government. She frequently visits her hometown of Tucson, Arizona
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