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Kerri Strug        

American Olympic Gymnast & Gold Medalist; Author; Political Appointee

Kerri Strug vaulted into Olympic history with her courageous performance during the 1996 Olympic Games. Strug landed an unforgettable vault on an injured ankle to help the U.S. clinch its first Olympic gold medal in the team gymnastics competition. Her emotional performance has earned Strug a variety of awards and accolades, from the Olympic Spirit Award to a spot on the Wheaties Box.

Her rise in the gymnastics world began long before her 1996 heroics. She began competitive gymnastics at age 8, where she followed in the footsteps of her older sister and brother. Strug became the youngest American on the Olympic squad in 1992, where she earned a bronze medal in the Barcelona Olympics. She was a three-time World Championship medalist and member of five World Championship teams since 1991. She also won the 1996 McDonald’s American Cup and 1995 U.S. Olympic Sports Festival.

Strug’s gut-wrenching performance in Atlanta earned her fame well beyond the gymnastics world. She was featured on the cover of both Time and People magazines. She appeared on television shows including Beverly Hills 90210, Saturday Night Live, and Touched by an Angel, as well as interviews on The Today Show, Dateline, and The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.

Only three months after the 1996 Olympics, Strug started college. She earned her BA in Communications and an MA in Sociology from Stanford University. Following graduation, Strug worked as a second grade teacher in San Jose, California.

Despite her busy schedule, Strug volunteers her time and energy to a variety of charitable causes. She has served as a spokesperson for the Special Olympics and the Children’s Miracle Network. She has also participated in projects with DARE, Pediatric AIDS, Make-a-Wish Foundation, and Childhelp. The Women’s Sports Foundation presented Strug with the Reebok/Lady FootLocker Giving Back Award in recognition of her community efforts. Although no longer in competitive gymnastics, she maintains involvement in the gymnastic community through work with parents, kids, and coaches throughout the country at various gymnastic camps and clubs.

An author of two books, Strug reaches out to others who can be inspired by her determination both inside and outside the gym. Heart of Gold targets younger readers who can learn of Strugs ups and downs as a young gymnast. Her autobiography, Landing on my Feet: A Diary of Dreams, focuses on the hard work and commitment that led to her heroic Olympic performance.

in March 2005, she joined the Justice Department's Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention staff as a presidential appointee. Strug has also been an active marathon runner, having run marathons in Houston, New York, Boston and Chicago.

Speech Topics




What Olympic star Kerri Strug's been up to - Business Insider

Here's what former gymnast Kerri Strug has been up to since she stuck the ... Former gymnast Kerri Strug's 1996 Olympic feat — landing on an injured ankle to  ...

Kerri Strug: 1996 Summer Olympics Vault 20th Anniversary

Strug's historic second vault on an already-injured ankle became perhaps the ... Remembering Kerri Strug's Vault into the Spotlight (on a Bad Ankle) at the 1996 ...

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