U.S. Olympic gold medalist Keri Strug made a stop in Grinnell over the weekend to promote National Gymnastics Day. Strug is famous for her vault that clinched the gold for the U.S. team at the Atlanta Olympics despite an ankle injury that required her to be carried off the floor. She was at gymnastics center in Grinnell and talked about her start in the sport.
Strug says she started gymnastics when she was about three years old to follow what her sister was doing. Strug says she followed Mary Lou Retton’s gold medal win in 1984 and decided she too wanted to be an Olympic champion.
Her competitive career began at the age of eight and she says at age 12 she moved away to train in Texas. Strug’s first Olympics was in Barcelona, and then she decided to stay around for Atlanta, where she won the gold.
Strug says the sport has many benefits even if you don’t want to pursue a competitive career. She says it teaches about discipline, focus and time management. Strug says even if you don’t make it to the Olympics, you can still get a college scholarship and improve you body.