Biography: SMITH, Byron

SMITH, Byron
Inducted: 2009
Member-Gold Medal World Championships Team (1999)

Byron Smith’s Coach, Tim Hall, said, “Byron was successful at everything he attempted. “He’s a nationally certified judge and coach, and his school work has always been his top priority. He’s the ‘All-American’ boy. I really hated to lose him, but he decided that (Texas) Tech was where he could get his best computer training.”

Championship Performances: Byron Smith joined a unique group in 1999. The 22-year-old gymnast from Amarillo became the sixth world champion from the city’s All-American Gymnastics School (Amarillo, TX). Smith was a member of the U.S. team that won the double-mini trampoline competition at the 1999 International Gymnastics Federation World Trampoline and Tumbling Championships in September at Sun City, South Africa. The squad included Smith, Ryan Weston of Idaho, Karl Heger and Mark Griffith of Illinois. This outstanding group captured the gold medal ahead of Germany, which won silver, and Canada, which earned the bronze. “It was the first time since 1988 that a U.S. team had won that particular event,” Smith said in a telephone interview.

The Beginning: Smith began training in Amarillo at All-American Gymnastics in 1983 and continued until 1998 when he moved to Lubbock to attend Texas Tech University.  “But it was his training at All-American,” Smith said, that gave him the foundation upon which he could become a champion. “My main coach, when I started competing, was Tim Hall.” “Coach Tim Hall trained me since I was about 11, and I learned most of what I know from him.” Hall said that Smith showed a lot of potential from a very young age.  At first, I had him just one day a week in a Saturday class, but I quickly realized that he was showing a lot of desire and had the attitude necessary to be really successful. I (Hall) talked to his mom and told her that Byron needed to come in more often. Soon, he was up to eight hours a week and was winning everything at his particular level.”  Hall also said that Smith is not only a great gymnast but also a well-rounded individual. Staying the Course: Byron qualified for the World Championships a number of times previously, but the 1999 gold medal was Smith’s first world championship.  He was on the U.S. National Team for 11 years.  Later, he was the athlete representative for the 2004 Olympic selection Committee for Trampoline.  Education: Byron graduated from Texas Tech University in May of 2003 with a BS in Computer Science.  He also graduated in 2005 with an MS in Systems and Engineering Management. International Competition: 1992 World Age-Group Games, Auckland, New Zealand, 10th – Double-Mini Trampoline; 1994 World Age-Group Games, Villa do Conde, Portugal, 3rd – Synchronized Trampoline; 1994 World Age-Group Games, Villa do Conde, Portugal, 6th – Tumbling; 1995 Indo-Pacific Games, Kitami City, Japan, 2nd – Tumbling, Indo-Pacific Games, Kitami City, Japan, 2nd – Synchronized Trampoline, Indo-Pacific Games, Kitami City, Japan, 3rd – Trampoline, Indo-Pacific Games, Kitami City, Japan, 3rd – Double-Mini Trampoline; 1996 World Championships, Vancouver, Canada, 5th – Team Double-Mini Trampoline; 1997 World Games, Lahti, Finland, 7th – Synchronized Trampoline; 1998 World Championships, Sydney, Australia, 5th – Team Double-Mini Trampoline; 1999 World Championships, Sun City, South Africa, 1st – Team Double-Mini Trampoline, French Championships, Toulouse, France, 11th – Trampoline; 2002 Canadian Championships, Red Deer, Canada, 3rd – Synchronized Trampoline.

National Competition:  1990-2004 National Championships: 10 National Titles, 26 National Medals. Family:   His parents are Karen Shawver and Darrell Smith and he has two sisters, Darci and Paula and one brother, Ben. 

Sources: ; Data and photo collected from public sources by 2008-2010 Web Manager Jerry Wright, author of Gymnastics Who’s Who-2010.  Editing by Dr. Larry Banner, 1993 GHOF Inductee & 1894-2007 Web Manager.