Carly Patterson is one of the bigger names in USA Gymnastics history. Her biggest moments came during the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, where she became an Olympic Champion by winning the All-Around Gold medal. She also came away from those games with Silver medals in both the team competition and balance beam. Due to bulging disks in her back, Patterson never competed in a major competition after the Games. She was inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2009.
Patterson remains active in the sport as much as she can.
“I have remained very active in the sport with coaching at Gymnastics camps every summer for the last 8 years,” she said in a conversation with us via Twitter. ”I’ve also been working with USA Gymnastics every year at our big competitions like Visa Championships and Olympic Trials. I will be headed to London next week to be a special analyst for Gymnastics on the Today show as well!”
Every four years, when the Olympic Games come around, many athletes find themselves reminiscing of their experiences. Carly admits those special memories come back, but that it’s also nice to see the new groups.
“Of course!” Patterson said about special memories. “It’s crazy how fast eight years have flown by! I think about all the amazing memories I have from Greece and that time in my life. But, it is also nice to sit back and relax and watch the new crop of Gymnasts that have been working so hard and have their moment in the spotlight.”
Since she is still active and pays close attention to the sport and, particularly, Team USA, we asked Carly what her thoughts on this years Olympic team after Trials.
“I think they are an awesome team and I think they have a good shot at a Gold medal in team as well as many individual medals!”
This year, the athletes that will be representing Team USA in London were announced at US Olympic Trials earlier this month. The five athletes chosen were; Jordyn Wieber, Aly Raisman, Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, and Kyla Ross.
Douglas was an automatic qualifier after finishing first at Trials. She was one of the athletes that stood out to Patterson, along with Wieber.
“I knew Gabby could win if she came out and hit, so that was cool to see her on top,” said Patterson. “Jordyn is always a fierce competitor and has that fire to win. I’m honestly so impressed by all the girls, though! They all have their special talents in the sport.”
During her career, Patterson’s coaching and fans had a general feeling on comfort. She was one of those athletes that gave you that feeling of knowing what you will get. She sees some of the same characteristics of herself in Jordyn Wieber.
“I think Jordyn Wieber reminds me of how I did Gymnastics. She is very consistent and confident in everything she does,” said Patterson.
Throughout our conversation, Patterson seemed very confident in this years group of girls and felt that Team USA would return home with plenty of hardware.
Asked which team she felt was the favorite heading into London, Carly’s answer was straight to the point.
“I think USA for sure, then I think Romania, Russia, and China,” she said.
Being that she sees Wieber as a similar Gymnast to herself, can she follow in her footsteps and win All-Around Gold? Carly thinks so.
“Jordyn Wieber, Gabby Douglas, and Aliya Mustafina (of Russia),” Carly said when asked to predict which individual athletes would be on the podium with Gold, Silver, and Bronze. “But, who knows. It’s all about who hits on the night it counts.”
Opening ceremonies for the London Olympic Games take place on Friday, July 27th. Gymnastics competitions are scheduled to begin the following day with the first women’s medal round being Tuesday, July 31st.
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