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Gymnast: Alicia Sacramone

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Gymnast: Alicia Sacramone
© Jed Jacobsohn / Getty Images
Check out photos of Alicia Sacramone in action

Alicia Sacramone was a member of the 2008 Olympic team that won a silver medal. In 2010 she returned to the sport after a brief retirement, and earned the world vault title. Sacramone wasn't named to the 2012 Olympic team, and has hinted that she may retire from the sport.

Oh-So-Close in '04:

Many thought that Sacramone would be selected onto the Athens team because of her incredible vaulting and tumbling ability. But inconsistent performances plagued her throughout the year, and at the 2004 nationals she missed the cut-off to qualify to Trials because of a disastrous bar routine. In 2005 she came back with a vengeance, winning the floor gold and the vault bronze at the World Championships.

A Rock for Team USA:

Between 2005 and 2008 Sacramone gained the consistency she lacked when she was younger. In 2006 and 2007, Sacramone competed on three events in the pressure-packed world team finals, and brought in stellar scores every time.

Three Event Specialist:

Like Chinese superstar Cheng Fei, Sacramone only performed for the US team on vault, beam, and floor. In 2008, Sacramone and National Team Coordinator Martha Karolyi decided that she would stop training uneven bars altogether. Because of her weaker skills on bars, she wouldn't be in the line-up for the US team on that event.

Cool Skills:

Sacramone competed one of the most difficult vaults in the world: a front handspring Rudi (1.5 twists). She also performed a front tuck to immediate back tuck on beam, and a full-in and Arabian double front on floor.

NCAA and Elite:

Very few US female gymnasts have competed in NCAA gymnastics at the same time as elite (Olympic level). Sacramone was on the Brown University gymnastics team her freshman year (2006), and set school records in the vault, floor, and all-around. Though Brown is not in the top tier of NCAA teams, Sacramone enjoyed the experience. "It was more laid back, and more team oriented than elite," she says. "It was a big benefit to compete every weekend instead of every month or so like we do in elite. It helped me learn how to compete so many times in a row, like we do at worlds or at the Olympics. Now I'm used to that."

She became an assistant coach at Brown the following year so she could focus on training for the 2008 Olympics. "It was a hard decision to leave the team and the girls, she explains, "It just got really hard to do both, and to try to work out at the Brown gym and my other gym. I was risking injury to myself."

A Heartbreaking Olympics:

Sacramone made the 2008 Olympic team, but had a disappointing Games. She missed qualifying to the floor finals, and fell on beam and floor during the team finals. In the vault finals, many thought she was robbed of the bronze medal -- it went to gymnast Cheng Fei, who fell on one of her attempts.

2010 Comeback:

Sacramone retired after the 2008 Games, but resumed training in 2010, and once again made the world team. She helped the US to a silver in the team competition, and won vault for the first time in her career.

Sacramone was named to the 2011 world team as well, but tore her Achilles tendon days before the competition was to begin. Since she was on the US roster, however, she earned a gold medal with the US team, giving her a record 10 world medals. (She had previously been tied with Nastia Liukin and Shannon Miller with nine.)

Gymnastics Results:

International:
  • 2011 World Championships: 1st team (did not compete due to injury but was on the team)
  • 2010 World Championships: 2nd team; 1st vault
  • 2008 Olympics: 2nd team; 4th vault
  • 2007 World Championships: 1st team; 3rd vault; 2nd floor
  • 2006 World Championships: 2nd team; 2nd vault
  • 2006 World Cup: 2nd vault
  • 2005 World Championships: 3rd vault; 1st floor
  • 2005 Pan American Games: 1st team; 1st vault; 1st floor
  • 2005 World Cup (Ghent, Belgium): 1st vault; 1st floor
  • 2005 American Cup: 1st vault; 2nd floor
  • 2004 Pan American Games: 1st vault; 1st floor
  • 2004 Pacific Alliance Championships: 1st team; 1st vault
National:
  • 2012 US Olympic Trials: 2nd vault; 2nd beam
  • 2012 Visa Championships: 1st vault; 3rd beam
  • 2011 Visa Championships (US Nationals): 2nd vault; 1st beam
  • 2010 Visa Championships (US Nationals): 1st vault; 2nd beam
  • 2008 US Olympic Trials: 1st vault; 5th beam; 5th floor
  • 2008 Visa Championships (US Nationals): 1st vault; 2nd floor; 3rd beam
  • 2007 Visa Championships (US Nationals): 1st vault; 3rd beam; 3rd floor
  • 2007 US Classic: 1st vault; 1st beam; 1st floor
  • 2006 Visa Championships (US Nationals): 5th all-around; 1st vault; 1st floor
  • 2006 US Classic: 3rd all-around; 1st vault; 2nd beam; 1st floor
  • 2005 Visa Championships (US Nationals): 4th all-around; 1st vault; 3rd beam; 1st floor
  • 2004 Visa Championships (US Nationals): 2nd vault
  • 2003 US Nationals: 3rd floor

Check out photos of Alicia Sacramone in action

Next:
2008 American Olympic Gymnasts
2008 International Competitors
Go to the 2008 Olympics Main Page
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