Shannon Miller is an American gymnast, whose height and weight may make her look fragile but actually looks are deceiving. She won five gymnastics medals in 1992 and made history because that was the most ever won by an American.
Shannon was born on March 10,1977 in Rolla Missouri but she grew up in Edmond, Oklahoma. Both her parents are respectable people in the society. Her father Ron, is a college professor while her mother Claudia, is the vice president of a bank. Her interests for gymnastics grew when her sister and her received a trampoline in 1982 as a Christmas gift. Thus, she began gymnastics at a young age of 5(which was in the year 1983). As she recalled in Sports Illustrated For Kids, she said,"When we started bouncing on it and trying flips, my parents freaked out. They thought we(her sister and her) would get hurt. So they signed us up for gymnastics."
Though Shannon showed great promise as a gymnast, her shyness and timidity caused her to lose out because judges judged on both technical maneuvers and abilitiy to entertain. Furthermore, she was a perfectionist and when she did not do a routine well during a competition, she became frustrated and broke down after that. In Sports Illustrated, she mentioned," Other people may not have high expectations for me, but I have high expectations for myself. "
At 9, she went to Soviet Union for a gymnatics camp that lasted for 2 weeks. That was when her coach Steve Nunno first noticed her. He observed that Shannon was trying so hard and getting frustrated so easily. Feeling that he could channel those frustration into a positive energy, he began training Shannon at his Oklahoma city gym.
In 1992, her dreams of entering the Olympic Games almost vanished when she fell and dislocated her elbow. Given 2 choices to either let the injury heal naturally or having surgery, she chose surgery over wearing a cast for 6 weeks as she did not want to miss the competitions.One month later after going through surgery, she won a gold medal in the balance beam and finished 3rd in vault.
For many years, Shannon Miller's biggest rival was Kim Zmeskal. Today, it is Dominique Dawes who often vies with her for top honours at National and International meets. However, as she had told Sporting News, she does not see her sport as a challenge between rivals.
" Competitions are about each of us going out there and doing our best, not beating one another." she added.
Factfile of Shannon Miller
D.o.b: March 10, 1977 in Rolla, Missouri
Educational Level: Graduated from Edmond North High School in 1994 with a 4.0 grade point average
Years on the U.S.A. National team: 7 years ( From 1990 to 1997 )
J1988 F Finished 2nd in the all-around and 3rd in the balance beam at the Junior Pan American Games.
J1989 FFinished 6th in the all-around competition at the International Junior Gymnastics competition.
FGot a gold medal in the uneven bars and finished 3rd in the all-around at the U.S.Olympics Festival.
J1990 FGot into the senior U.S. National gymnastics team when she was 13.
J1992FGot a gold medal in the balance beam competition and finished 3rd in vault at the U.S. National Championships.She was a great help in achieving the U.S. teams silver medal in the World Gymnastics Championships.
FWon 5 Olympic medals:
~ Bronze medals in the team competition, uneven bars and floor exercise.
~ Silver medals in the all-around and the balance beam competitions.
J1993FIn the World Championships, she..
~beat Romania's Gina Gogean by winning a gold medal in the all-around competition.
~Qualified for the finals in 4 individual events.
~Won individual gold medals in the uneven bars and floor exercise.
J1994FIn the World Championships, Shannon..
~ Won a gold medal in the all-around competition.
~Won an individual gold medal in the balance beam.
J1995F World Championships Bronze Medalist
J1996F Won an individual gold medal at the balance beam in 1996 Olympic games.(2 medals)
J1997 FWorld University Games Medalist (1 gold and 1 silver medal)
iWon 7 World Championship medals, more than any American male or female gymnast.
Shannon Miller -Olympic and World Championship medalist