Kerri’s courageous vault with a severely injured ankle helped people world wide better understand the concept of “American Resolve”. Her final score was reportedly a necessity for the U.S. Women to take the gold medal stand for the first time in the team competition, and she gave the team the medal with a “leg up”.
Kerri’s rise in the gymnastics world began long before her 1996 heroics. She began gymnastics at age 8, where she followed in the footsteps of her older sister and brother. She was a three-time World Championship medalist and member of five World Championship teams since 1991. Olympic Games: Team Bronze, Barcelona, Spain, (1992), youngest team member; Gold-Team, Atlanta, Georgia, (1996). World Championships: Individual Event Competition, Finalist-V & UB, (1992); Team Competition, Finalist-FX & 5th AA, Birmingham England, (1993); Team Silver, Dortmund, Germany, 1994; Team Competition, Team Bronze, Sabae, Japan, (1995); Kerri also won the 1996 McDonald’s American Cup and 1995 U.S. Olympic Festival. Education: B.A., Communications, M.A.-Sociology, Stanford University. Special Activities/Honors: Received “Olympic Spirit Award” and was featured on a Wheaties box with her teammates. Authored Heart of Gold and the autobiographical Landing on my Feet: A Diary of Dreams, both designed to serve as an inspirational recounting of the waves and troughs she faced as a young gymnast striving to reach the Olympic medal stand. Received the Reebok/Lady Footlocker Giving Back Award in recognition of her community efforts. Featured on cover of Time and People magazines, appeared on Beverly Hills 90210, Saturday Night Live, and Touched by an Angel, and Kerri interviewed on The Today Show, Dateline, & The Tonight Show with Jay Leno. Personal: Kerri does volunteer work with a variety of charitable organizations. She served as a spokesperson for the Special Olympics and the Children’s Miracle Network. She has participated in projects for DARE, Pediatric AIDS, Make-a-Wish Foundation, and ChildHelp. She continues to maintain involvement in the gymnastic community through work with parents, children, and coaches at gymnastic camps and clubs throughout the country. Kerri now resides in Washington, D.C., where she works for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention; however, Kerri writes that no matter where she lives, she will always be a proud native of Tucson, AZ, where her father and mother still reside. Website: .
Sources: Strug’s resume, personal interviews and the courtesy of editing by Abie Grossfeld, 1979 Hall of Fame Honoree, and Jerry Wright author of Gymnastics Who’s Who, 2005. Introduction, commentary, and formatting by Larry Banner, Web Manager.