Individually Inducted: 2012
Member-Gold Medal World Championships Team (2003)
The extreme honor of being selected to be the Captain of a Gold Medal winning World Championship Team can only be exceeded by an outstanding individual performances in that competition. Tasha Schwikert was up to the occasion in all respects.
Getting Started: The daughter of Shannon Warren and Joy Schwikert, Tasha Schwikert was born in Las Vegas, Nevada. She trained with coach Cassie Rice at GymCats club in Las Vegas, and was a member of USA Gymnastics’ TOPS developmental team in 1994 and 1995. At the age of thirteen, in 1998, she earned her first national team berth. Her first international meet was the 1998 City of Popes competition in France, where she won a silver medal on the floor exercise in the junior division. Olympic Games: Team alternate, (2004) Tasha was not called upon to compete. Bronze-Team, (2010). Schwikert first came to prominence as a member of the U.S. team for the 2000 Olympics in Sydney. Her presence on the team was controversial since she placed ninth at the Olympic Trials and, therefore, was not originally named to the team at all. Tasha was later asked to join the squad in Sydney as a second alternate. When team member Morgan White was injured in training, Schwikert became her replacement. Despite the questions over Schwikert’s qualification, she performed strongly under pressure. On April 28, 2010, Tasha and the other women on the 2000 Olympic team were awarded the bronze medal in the team competition when it was discovered that the previous medal winners, the Chinese team, had falsified the age of team member Dong Fangxiao. As a result of the falsification, Dong’s results were nullified, and the Chinese team was stripped of the medal by the IOC. Career From 2000: Schwikert was the only member of the 2000 team to continue competing at the elite level after the Olympics. She won the all-around titles at the 2001 U.S. Championships, the American Classic and the Pan American Championships. She participated in the 2001 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Ghent, where she led the U.S. team to a surprise bronze medal and was the USA’s highest finisher in the all-around, placing fifth. She qualified for the floor exercise and balance beam event finals. A medal was a possibility in the floor finals but she fell on her final tumbling pass. In 2002 Schwikert won the all-around titles at the Pacific Alliance and the American Cup, as well as her second U.S. Championships. However, in the fall of 2002, injuries prevented her from competing in the 2002 World Championships.
Schwikert tied for second at the 2003 U.S. Nationals. She was the captain of the 2003 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships team in Anaheim. In the team finals, she only competed on vault and uneven bars but performed both of her routines cleanly, posting the highest score of the American team on the vault and second highest score on the uneven bars. Her scores helped the American women win their first team gold medal in World Championships competition. At the 2004 U.S. Championships, still struggling with injuries, Schwikert won the uneven bars title but placed off the all-around podium for the first time since 2000. Collegiate Career: From 2004 to 2008, Schwikert was a member of the UCLA gymnastics team, competing on a full athletic scholarship. Schwikert’s younger sister, Jordan, was also a Bruin. She and Tasha opted to enter UCLA at the same time, and thus were in the same graduating class.
In Schwikert’s first year of competition for the UCLA Bruins gymnastics team, she won the NCAA National all-around title. She was the only gymnast in 2005 to earn first-team All-American honors on all four events. Schwikert was sidelined for most of the 2005–2006 season due to a shoulder injury requiring surgery, but remained a student at UCLA and a member of the team. Schwikert returned to the UCLA floor and vault lineup for the Pac-10 Championships in late March, and continued to compete on a limited basis for the rest of the season. Recovered from her injury, Schwikert ended the 2006-2007 season as one of the top collegiate gymnasts in the nation. She won the PAC-10 all-around title for the second time in her career, picking up additional gold medals on the floor exercise, balance beam and vault, and was named the PAC-10 and West Region Gymnast of the Year. She also won the all-around title at the NCAA Southeast Regional Championships. At the NCAA Women’s Gymnastics championship in April, Schwikert was the only gymnast from UCLA to win an individual medal, earning a silver on the uneven bars and was a nominee for the Honda Award. Schwikert completed her senior year as one of the strongest gymnasts on the Bruins team. At the 2008 NCAA National Championships, she won her second all-around title and placed first on uneven bars, second on floor, and eighth on vault.
Post Competition: Since 2005, Schwikert has been employed as a gymnastics commentator by the WCSN Network. She has covered the World Gymnastics Championships for three consecutive years, working alongside Nadia Comaneci (2005) and Bart Conner. Schwikert has also commentated on UCLA gymnastics broadcasts, and worked with NBC at the Beijing Olympics. Schwikert has most recently worked on the television series Make It or Break It as both a stunt double and actress.
Sources: Date collected and formatted from the public domain by Jerry Wright. Photos also collected from the public domain by Jerry Wright, web manager: 2008-2010 Bios & Photos. Minor editing by Larry Banner, 1894-2004 Bio. Manager, Ph.D. & Ed. E.