In the words of Jerry Wright, “The extent to which environment influences one’s career is appreciated by few, especially in the making of a champion.” Had Paul Kremple not been in Los Angeles competing as a high school student the year the National Championships came to his town, where he chanced to meet a few of the best gymnasts of his day who inspired him to think large, he may have just continued as an artist working in the motion picture industry, but he found himself in a place, at a time, when fate stepped in and he became an outstanding national and Olympic athlete as well as a successful artist.
Paul Kremple began his gymnastic career at age five at the Los Angeles Turnverein. Later, he became a member of the Los Angeles Polytechnic High School gymnastics team where he competed in L.A. City high school meets. He entered his first Amateur Athletic Union (AAU) competition in 1916 at 15 years of age. The National AAU Championship meet was held in Los Angeles in 1919 and served as a tremendous incentive to Paul. At the competition, he met Peter Hol, an AA champion, Otto Poll, a Flying Rings champion, and Arthur Nugent, a Tumbling champion. Their support provided just the inspiration Paul needed to prepare for the next AAU Nationals and the Olympic Games of 1920. At the Olympic Trials, Paul finished 2nd and traveled to Antwerp, Belgium and finished 20th in the Individual Combined, five events, competition. After the 1920 Olympics, he stayed in Europe for ten months, visiting every country he could and competing in gymnastics contests. When he returned to the U.S., Roy Moore, the National AAU Chairman, encouraged him to continue training for national competitions. Paul took Moore’s advice seriously, and, as a result, found himself a member of the 1928 U.S. Olympic Team for his second Olympics. The 1928 U.S. team had some top performers who, in addition to Paul, were inducted into the USGHOF. Among the ’28 team members were Glenn Berry, Frank Kriz, Frank Haubold, and Alfred Jochim plus the team’s coach, Roy Moore. All eventually became inductees into the first class of USGHOF honorees, (1959). In 1930, Kremple retired from competition. NationalAAUChampionships: Gold-V, (1919); Gold-FX, (1926 & ‘27); Gold-FR, (1925, ’26, ’27, & ’30); Gold-PB, (1930). To participate in these amateur competitions, an athlete could not but pay his own way, and since all but the 1930 NAAU competitions were on the East Coast, it proved to be a hardship unknown to today’s athletes. Judge: Olympic Games, Los Angeles-USA, 1932. He judged numerous high school meets as well as local SPAAU meets for many years. He also remained active as a member of the Technical Committee of the SPAAU.
Sources: Jerry Wright, author of Gymnastics Who’s Who, 2005, courteously granted permission to use information from his book and supplied the photos plus information in an article written by Martin Trieb and published in the AAU Handbook, (1944). Introduction and formatting by Dr. Larry Banner, Web Manager.