Biography: CONNER, Bart

CONNER, Bart

Team Inducted: 1984 Individual Induction: 1996
International GHOF: 1996
Inducted: U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame – 2005
Born: March 28, 1958

In gymnastic history, the only American gymnast, male or female, to reach the event finals since 1932 occurred in 1968. No American had qualified for the event finals since the Los Angeles Games of 1932. After 1968, another eight years passed before an American gymnast reached the finals. Bart Conner was one of America’s gymnasts to not only make the event finals but eventually win Olympic Gold as well. His achievements helped America learn to compete on the world stage.

Bart Conner’s gymnastic success began early. By the time he finished high school, he was one of America’s top gymnasts. Illinois High School Championships: Gold-AA & PB, Silver-FX, (1974). National High School Championships: Gold-AA, (1976). American Cup Championships: Gold-AA, (1976); Bronze-AA, (1978), Silver-AA, (1980), Gold-AA, (1980, ’81, & ‘82). Pan American Games: Silver-Team, Bronze-FX & R, Mexico City, Mexico, (1975). NCAA Championships: Competing for the University of Oklahoma, Gold-Team, Silver-AA, (1977); Gold-Team & AA, & Silver-HB, plus Bronze-PB [T], (1978); Gold-FX [T], Silver-Team, AA, PB & HB, (1979); Silver-Team, AA, HB [T], Bronze R [T], (1981). AAU Championships: Silver-PB, (1975). VISA Cup Championships: Gold-AA, (1981). U.S. National Championships: Competing for Niles West High School, Gold-AA [T], PB & PH, Silver-HB, (1975); Gold-PB, Silver-AA & PH, (1978); Gold-AA, R, PH, & PB; Bronze-V, (1979); Gold-PH, Silver-RG [T], & Bronze-PB, (1983). World Cup Championships: Silver-PB [T], Sao Paulo, Brazil, (1978); Gold-PH, Tokyo, Japan, (1979). Bart Conner was the only American gymnast to win a gold medal in this prestigious competition; Olympic Games: Team member, Montreal, Canada, (1976); Team member, Moscow, (1980)*; Gold-Team & PB, Los Angeles, California-USA, (1984)**. The 1984 team gold medal was the first team win by America’s men in modern Olympic history. World Championships: Team member, Strasbourg, RFA, (1978); Gold-PB, Bronze-Team & V [T], Ft. Worth, Texas, (1979); Team member, Moscow URS, (1981), & Budapest, Hungary, (1983). Honors: Conner was the first American inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame, the youngest member of the 1976 Olympic Gymnastic Team that competed in Montreal, Canada (1976), and he was the oldest member of the 1984 gold medal winning team in Los Angeles, California-USA. Conner aided the U. of Oklahoma to win their conference title seven times and won numerous events at a dual and tri-meets at both the collegiate and international levels. Since retiring from competition, Bart has been a very popular public speaker, a TV commentator of celebrity status, and is the Director of an elite level gymnastics club in Oklahoma. Family: (m) Nadia Comaneci, “Honored Guest-This Site”. Children: Dylan Paul-Born: 1996. *The U.S. boycotted these Olympics due to Soviet aggression in Afghanistan. ** The USSR and other East Block teams boycotted this Olympics.

Source: Text information and photos courtesy of Jerry Wright author of Gymnastics Who’s Who, 2005, the USAG 2003-2004 Media Guide, and www.gymn-forum.com/ results and biography links. Introduction, commentary, and formatting by Larry Banner, Web Manager.