Watch her medal-winning routine from 1970, and be sure to check out her front kick that slides into a split at :38.
An American Icon:
According to Biography.com during her career Rigby won 12 international medals, eight of them gold, and was named one of America's Most Influential Women in Sports by ABC's Wide World of Sports.
Rigby was the face of USA Gymnastics during that era. One Sports Illustrated piece about the 1973 US nationals says that the competition was "to line up finalists for the world meet coming in October, and to select a successor to Cathy Rigby..."
Rigby was coached by Bud Marquette, the founder of Southern California Acro Team (SCATS), a gymnastics club in Orange County, California. He told Sports Illustrated in 1972, "I never had anyone like her, and I guess I'll never find another one, either. She is the typical little American girl. A nice, clean kid. The American ideal. Something like Shirley Temple." He also said, in the same piece, "Absolutely anybody could have made of Cathy what she is today."
Rigby appeared on the cover of LIFE magazine, and was on The Johnny Carson Show, among many other appearances.
Struggles with Eating Disorders:
She didn't start gymnastics until about age 12, when she took a trampoline class and was talented enough that the coach suggested she go to Marquette's gym. Rigby's father later built a balance beam for her in their backyard, and purchased a set of uneven bars as well.
Rigby is now married to Tom McCoy, and has four children: Bucky, Ryan, Theresa, and Kaitlin.
- 1972 Olympics: 4th team; 10th all-around
- 1971 Riga Cup: 3rd all-around; 3rd bars; 1st beam
- 1971 World Cup: 1st all-around; 1st vault; 1st bars; 1st beam; 1st floor
- 1970 World Championships: 2nd beam
- 1968 Olympics: 6th team; 16th all-around
- 1972 US Nationals: 1st all-around; 1st bars; 3rd beam; 2nd floor
- 1970 US Nationals: 1st all-around