Biography: LAKES, Charles

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LAKES, Charles Inducted: 2003 Born: 1964 Charles Lakes will be remembered for more than the manner in which he artistically performed the high-flying Tkachev’s and Jaegers on high bar. Beyond his ability to go high and land softly, Lakes was the first black American gymnast to compete in the Olympics.  His wonderful exploits in the … Read more

Biography: KUPETS, Courtney

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KUPETS, Courtney Inducted Individually: 2014 Inducted Team: 2008 Born: Bedford, Texas Member-Gold Medal World Championships Team (2003) Not many athletes have what it takes to suffer two Achilles tendon tears and come back to compete much less compete even better. Courtney Kupets was able to do just that after tearing her left Achilles and returning … Read more

Biography: GRAVES, Charles “Charlie”

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GRAVES, Charles “Charlie” Inducted: 1967 Charlie Graves was a coach of champions. A list of his athletes would read like a Who’s Who in gymnastics during his tenure at USC. Whatever competition his teams attended, his positive demeanor and gentle words of encouragement were applied equally to his gymnasts and others with whom he came … Read more

Biography: GAUTHIER, Cliff

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GAUTHIER, Cliff Honored Guest Denver Colorado Gauthier is the David of David vs. Goliath in the sport of college gymnastics. He has always had an uncanny ability to recruit great students and good gymnasts and help them develop into outstanding students and graduates as well as national gymnastic champions. The information that follows herein is … Read more

Biography: FEINBERG, Candace

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FEINBERG, Candace Inducted: 2006 Born: Seattle, WA Candace Feinberg began her gymnastics in Jr. High School coached by Dale McClements, 1964 Olympian and HOF Inductee in 1984. Dale had a gymnastic school in Reno, NV and invited Maria Bakos, HOF Inductee in 1990 to become a clinician at the school. Bakos then introduced Dale and … Read more

Biography: SORENSON, Bill

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SORENSON, Bill Inducted: 1978 Born: Spencer, Iowa   It is a distinct pleasure to inform the gymnastics world of the contributions made to our sport by Bill Sorenson. Never heard the name? Well, into the ‘60’s, laminated rings would occasionally break at the bottom of a simple dislocate and sometimes a support on the parallel … Read more

Biography: SMITH, Byron

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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) … Read more

Biography: PRICE, Ben

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PRICE, Ben Inducted: 1959 Ben Price was a name that was constantly being discussed at gym meets, judges’ meetings, and among the many Olympians to come out of Southern California during the ‘50’s and ‘60’s. I recall being part of a squad of gymnastics invited to the LAAC for a luncheon being held annually in … Read more

Biography: OKINO, Betty

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OKINO, Betty Inducted: 2002 Born: Africa 1975 Elizabeth (Betty) Okino is the essence of everything that Sports / Hollywood covers.  Born in Africa to a Ugandan father and a Romanian mother, Okino was inspired to begin gymnastics by the success of Mary Lou Retton at the 1984 Olympics. A successful dancer prior to coming to … Read more