Arguably, beginning gymnastics as a tumbler has its advantages, among them the twisting, turning, and somersaulting required at the elite, national, and international levels in FX, V, and often the BB event. But some may suggest the strength needed for the UB is the best way to start. Avis Tieber chose the former, and it proved to be a great choice. Her performances in national and international competitions were outstanding and always contributed critical points to her team’s score. Although she skipped training during her college sophomore year, it is a tribute to her resolve to successfully return to championship form. Her contributions to gymnastics extended through her entire career developing gymnastic programs and coaching in several states. It is an honor to know her and understand that she was a United States’ women’s champion who contributed much more than just her medals and ribbons to help bring the U.S. to the top rung of the international gymnastics’ medal stand.
World Championships: Team member at the first women’s world championships, Prague, Czechoslovakia. North American Championships: Silver-AA & V, Bronze-BB, (1964). Note: As a result of the TV broadcast of the North American Championships, Avis was offered a teaching position at Punahou School in Honolulu, Hawaii by Dr. John Fox, Punahou President, who wanted a gymnastics program for his private prep school. She welcomed this unique opportunity and he chose one of the best. National AAU Championships: Competing as a “specialist” Avis won Silver-TU, (1954); Bronze, (1956) and Gold-TU, (1960); Bronze-V, Gold-Team-Crenshaw Athletic Club, (1962); Gold-V, Bronze-BB, Gold-Team-Crenshaw Athletic Club, (1963); Gold-V, (1964). Pan American Games: Gold-Team & FX, Silver-V, Sao Paulo, Brazil, (1963). As a national team member, Avis represented the U.S. women on the European Tour that included competitions against the USSR, Czechoslovakian, and Polish teams, (1961). Starting Gymnastics: At age 10, Avis began tumbling and trampoline training at the Dallas Athletic Club, Lester Griffin-Coach. In 1956, she began AA training at the University of Texas, Austin (UT), Bill and Bee Crenshaw-coaches. She actually trained at Bill Crenshaw’s private club, Crenshaw Athletic Club, since UT offered no athletic programs for women. Avis left the sport during her sophomore year, but she returned to Crenshaw’s in 1958. Avis spent her last year of competition (1964) with George Lewis and fellow future Hall of Fame Inductee, Dale McClements, at the Seattle YMCA. Education/Professional: B.S., Physical Education, M.Ed., University of Texas in Austin. Active in UT’s campus life as a four-year cheerleader, named a yearbook “Outstanding Student” and was an honor graduate. She served on the 1963-’65 DGWS Gymnastics committee and was a contributor to the 1965-67 Guide. She returned to school in the late 70’s, earning a MFA from Southern Methodist University. Coaching: USA Women’s World Championships Team, Dortmund, Germany, (1966); Served as a program developer and clinician for competitive age group gymnastic programs at Punahou School, Honolulu, Hawaii, (1964-’69); Continued same at Mountain View College of the Dallas County Community College District, (1970-’77); During this 70’s period, Avis’ career path headed toward fitness and wellness. Honors: Southwestern AAU Sullivan Award, (1962); National Sullivan Award Nominee, (1962); Southwest Chapter Olympian Award, (1964); Presented Honorary Life Member Award by the Gymnastics Association of Texas for outstanding service to the sport of gymnastics in Texas, (1989). At this writing, January, ‘06, she is serving as Professor of Physical Education at Brookhaven College in Dallas, Texas. Family: One child, USAF Captain Kevin M. Jamieson who graduated from USAFA in Colorado Springs, CO.