10 Best US Female Gymnastic Olympians of All Time

The 10 best US female gymnasts of all time have bounded, tumbled, cart wheeled, somersaulted, vaulted, and mounted the beams of gymnastics glory. Unparalleled in the archives of gymnastics history, these women have raised the bar of perfection in American gymnastics.

  1. Joan Gnat Rice Moore. Moore constitutes an integral part of U.S. gymnastics history. For an uninterrupted four years (1971-1974), she won the All-Around U.S. Championships. 
  2. Carly Patterson. By nature, Patterson is a stand out.  She won the All-Around 2001 International Team Championships. One of the spring boards to her astronomical, acrobatic career was her victory in the U.S. Junior National All-Around Champion 2002. She earned the team gold for the World Championships in 2003 and tumbled her way to a gold medal during the 2004 Olympic Games in the All-Around meet.
  3. Judy Wills Cline. Another bejeweled American gymnast who blissfully bounded the trampoline, she recorded a total of five World Championships. The acclaimed World Women’s Trampoline Champion has also under the belt ten International Awards as one of the best U.S. female gymnasts of all time.
  4. Kim Zmeskal-Burdette. From 1989, Zmeskal showed herself to be a power as one of the best U.S female gymnasts of all time. She won the 1989 U.S. Junior National Championship title. She initiated the U.S’ triumphal entry in the World Championships 1991in the All-Around tournament, becoming the forerunner in American wins.
  5. Julinne Mc.Namar. She peaked in her career during the 1980’s when she struck gold at the U.S. All-Around championships and duplicated this golden performance at the 1984 Olympics. In addition, she acquired two silver Olympic medals. She is the first U.S. female gymnast ever to somersault with an individual Olympic gold.
  6. Shawn Johnson. Johnson awed the American public as she vaulted herself to a sterling performance at the 2008 Olympics. Johnson has earned one gold and three silver Olympic medals. In 2007 and 2008 she ranked as best U.S. female gymnast in the U.S. Championships and in 2007, she was World Women’s Gymnastics Champion.
  7. Mary Lou Retton. Retton consecutively championed in the Tyson American Cup games in 1983, 1984, and 1985; and the American Classics/Challenge in 1983 and 1984. At the 1984 U.S. All-Around Championships, she topped competition with a gold medal and in that same year won America’s first Olympic gymnastics gold medal. The USOC Olympic Hall of Fame and International Gymnastics Hall of Fame honored her with induction in 1985 and 1997 respectively.
  8. Anastasia ‘Nastia’ Liukin. Liukin leaped to prominence among the best U.S. female gymnasts of all time when she equaled predecessors Mary Lou Retton and Shannon Miller. Liukin’s medal-studded career comprises of one gold medal in the All-Around gymnastics meet, three silver medals, and one bronze—a count that surpasses any other gymnast at the 2008 Olympics. She struck it rich as the 2005 and 2006 U.S. All-Around Champion, and in the 2007 World Championships contributed to a team-effort gold medal.
  9. Dominique Dawes. Dawes is the first African-American gymnast to achieve several outstanding accomplishments: a three time Olympic qualification in 1992, 1996, and 2000; 1994 U.S. All-Around champion, and two silver medals at the World Championships in 1993 and 1994. Further, Dawes’ name is included in the “Magnificent Seven," the American dream team at the 1996 Olympics where the U.S. clinched its first collective gymnastic conquest. The International Gymnastics Hall of Fame inducted her in 2009.
  10. Shannon Miller. She has grossed fifty-nine world medals—unsurpassed in the gymnastics world. The Women’s International Sports Hall of Fame, the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame, the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame, the U.S. Gymnastics Hall of Fame, National Association for Sport and Physical Education Hall of Fame, and the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame have inducted her. She has won seven Olympic medals, nine World Championship medals, and 49 well-deserved U.S. medals.


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