USA Tops Charts With 18 Medal Opportunities

USA Tops Charts With 18 Medal Opportunities

For Immediate Release – Aug. 16, 2004
Brian Eaton, USA Gymnastics

ATHENS – The U.S. gymnastics team surpassed all other nations in qualifying for medal round finals by qualifying for 18 slots in the team, all-around and individual event finals across the next six competition nights. Team USA’s 18 medal chances rank first ahead of China with 16, Romania with 14 and Russia with 12.

Paul Hamm and Carly Patterson lead the way in the individual medal opportunities. Hamm qualified in first place for the men’s all-around final slated for 8:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 18. Hamm also qualified for the Team, Floor Exercise, Pommel Horse, Parallel Bars and High Bar final for a total of six possible medals.

Patterson led the field in qualifying for the women’s all-around final on tap for 9 p.m. Thurs., Aug. 19. However, teammate Courtney Kupets leads the women with four medal chances in the Team, All-Around, Uneven Bars and Balance Beam finals.

Team USA qualified in second place for both the men’s and women’s team finals. The men’s team is the two-time defending world silver medalist and goes for gold at 8:30 p.m. tonight at the Olympic Indoor Hall. The men qualified in second place for the team final behind ’03 world bronze medalist Japan.

Team USA scored a 230.419 to Japan’s 232.134. Scores from the team qualifying are wiped out and each team given a clean slate in the final. The team final is scored using a 6-3-3 format – three men compete on each event, with all three scores counting – eliminating any margin for error.

The U.S. men will send the following line-up into the team final to compete for the first U.S. men’s team medal since the 1984 men’s team won gold 20 years ago:
FX: Young, M. Hamm, P. Hamm, alt. Wilson
PH: McClure, M. Hamm, P. Hamm, alt. Gatson
SR: Young, Gatson, Wilson, alt. P. Hamm
VT: Young, M. Hamm, P. Hamm, alt. McClure
PB: Wilson, P. Hamm, Gatson, alt. McClure
HB: McClure, M. Hamm, P. Hamm, alt. Wilson

“I think we have a great opportunity ahead of us,” coach Kevin Mazeika said. “The guys are focused, they know what they have to do to win a medal. The team final is a totally different meet than team prelims, and we’re approaching it that way with a clear head and confidence.”

The U.S. women will defend their first-ever world championship team gold at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Aug. 17. The women qualified for the final in second place with a 151.848 behind defending Olympic champion Romania at 152.436. The U.S. performed strongest on bars and beam, and will look to improve on vault and floor in the final.

The women’s line-up was announced at noon on Monday. Team USA will contend for their first gold since 1996 with the following line-up:
VT: Patterson, Bhardwaj, Hatch, alt. Kupets
UB: Patterson, Humphrey, Kupets, alt. McCool
BB: Humphrey, Kupets, Patterson, alt. Bhardwaj
FX: Kupets, Bhardwaj, Patterson, alt. Humphrey

“We believe this line-up can compete for the gold medal,” coach Kelli Hill said. “All of the girls are so talented on every event, it was a tough decision for the coaching staff who to put in each event. In the end, we all agreed that we had to come up with a line-up that balanced risk and opportunity, start values and consistency in order to be competitive.”

A complete list of medal opportunities follows:
Date
Event
Qualified
Entry
8:30 p.m., Mon., 8/16
M Team
2nd
Jason Gatson, Morgan Hamm, Paul Hamm, Brett McClure, Blaine Wilson, Guard Young
9 p.m., Tues., 8/17
W Team
2nd
Mohini Bhardwaj, Annia Hatch, Terin Humphrey, Courtney Kupets, Courtney McCool, Carly Patterson
8:30 p.m., Wed., 8/18
M AA
1st, 19th
Paul Hamm, Brett McClure
9 p.m., Thur., 8/19
W AA
1st, 4th
Carly Patterson, Courtney Kupets
8 p.m., Mon., 8/22
M FX
5th, 6th
Morgan Hamm, Paul Hamm

W VT
6th
Annia Hatch

M PH
8th
Paul Hamm

W UB
5th, 7th
Courtney Kupets, Terin Humphrey
8 p.m., Tues., 8/23
W BB
2nd, 8th
Carly Patterson, Courtney Kupets

M PB
5th
Paul Hamm

W FX
8th
Mohini Bhardwaj

M HB
5th, 7th
Paul Hamm, Morgan Hamm
Individual opportunities:
6, Paul Hamm (Team, AA, FX, PH, PB, HB)
4, Courtney Kupets (Team, AA, UB, BB)
3, Morgan Hamm (Team, FX, HB)
3, Carly Patterson (Team, AA, BB)
2, Brett McClure (Team, AA)
2, Mohini Bhardwaj (Team, FX)
2, Annia Hatch (Team, VT)
2, Terin Humpnrey (Team, UB)
1, Gatson, Wilson, Young; McCool (Team)

Both U.S. teams were shut out of the medals at the 2000 Olympics. Since that time, the United States has enjoyed its most successful three-year World Championships medal run in history, winning 15 world medals in the 2001, 2002 and 2003 World Championships.

2004 Men’s U.S. Olympic Team
Name Age Hometown Residence Club
Jason Gatson 24 Upland, Calif./Mesa, Ariz Colorado Springs, Colo. Team Chevron-USOTC
Morgan Hamm 21 Waukesha, Wis. Columbus, Ohio Team Chevron-Ohio
Paul Hamm 21 Waukesha, Wis. Columbus, Ohio Team Chevron-Ohio
Brett McClure 23 Mill Creek, Wash. Colorado Springs, Colo. Team Chevron-USOTC
Blaine Wilson 30 Columbus, Ohio Columbus, Ohio Team Chevron-Ohio
Guard Young 27 Oklahoma City, Okla. Norman, Okla. Team Chevron-Okla.

2004 Women’s U.S. Olympic Team
Name Age Hometown Residence Club
Mohini Bhardwaj 25 Cincinnati, Ohio Los Angeles, Calif. All Olympians
Annia Hatch 26 West Haven, Conn. West Haven, Conn. Stars Academy
Terin Humphrey 18 Bates City, Mo. Blue Spring, Mo. Great American
Courtney Kupets 17 Gaithersburg, Md. Gaithersburg, Md. Hill’s Gymnastics
Courtney McCool 16 Lee’s Summit, Mo. Lee’s Summit, Mo. Great American
Carly Patterson 16 Baton Rouge, La. Allen, Texas World Olympic

For team bios, recent clippings, quotes, start orders and schedule information, visit:
www.usa-gymnasticsolympics.com.

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For Immediate Release – Aug. 27, 2004

United States Olympic Committee Rejects Request
From Federation Internationale De Gymnastique
To Further Pressure Olympic Champion Paul Hamm

For Immediate Release – Aug. 27, 2004
Darryl Seibel, USOC, 210-003-0801

ATHENS, Greece – Last night, the United States Olympic Committee (USOC) received a letter from Mr. Bruno Grandi, President of the Federation Internationale De Gymnastique (FIG). The letter was in reference to the continuing controversy surrounding the final results of the Individual Men’s All-Around, which was won by Mr. Paul Hamm of the United States.

The USOC views this letter as a blatant and inappropriate attempt on the part of FIG to once again shift responsibility for its own mistakes and instead pressure Mr. Hamm into resolving what has become an embarrassing situation for the Federation. The USOC finds this request to be improper, outrageous and so far beyond the bounds of what is acceptable that it refuses to transmit the letter to Mr. Hamm.

The USOC has informed the FIG of this and requested that it immediately withdraw its letter.

It is the opinion of the USOC that Mr. Hamm did exactly what an Olympic champion should do: he performed to the best of his ability, he competed within the rules of his sport, and he accepted his gold medal with pride, honor and dignity.

The USOC had two lengthy telephone conversations last night with Mr. Hamm, his parents and his representatives. During these conversations, the USOC expressed its unwavering support for Mr. Hamm and indicated it will aggressively resist any attempt by any party to lay claim to his gold medal.

As stated repeatedly by Mr. Grandi and stipulated by the FIG rules, Paul Hamm is the Olympic gold medallist and Olympic champion in the 2004 Individual Men’s All-Around. The USOC shares this point of view and finds any attempt by the FIG to pressure Mr. Hamm, or any athlete, into resolving a dispute not of their creation both unacceptable and irresponsible.

The letter from FIG also indicates the International Olympic Committee (IOC) is supportive of the FIG position. However, conversations between the USOC and the IOC, as recently as this morning, indicate exactly the opposite. In fact, the IOC and its President, Dr. Jacques Rogge, have expressed displeasure over the fact the FIG would even consider placing an athlete in such an untenable position and strongly stated they do not support the letter or its contents.

When representatives of the Korean Olympic Committee suggested the awarding of a second gold medal as a possible remedy for this situation, the USOC expressed a willingness to consider this should the appropriate governing authorities – namely the FIG and IOC – find this acceptable. However, in light of this most recent and unacceptable maneuver by the FIG, as well as concern expressed by the IOC, this is no longer an option the USOC will consider.

The USOC considers this matter closed and looks forward to celebrating the tremendous success of the Athens Games and the inspiring performances of athletes from around the world, not the least of which is that of Olympic champion Paul Hamm.

“We are extremely proud of Paul Hamm and all he has accomplished,” said USOC Chair Peter Ueberroth. “His comeback in the Individual Men’s All-Around is emblematic of the spirit of an Olympic champion. In the face of adversity, he refused to give up and battled to earn his Olympic gold medal. Now, faced with more adversity, he will again not give up, and he will have the full support of the United States Olympic Committee with him.”

“As stewards of the Olympic movement, we all share a responsibility to protect, not sacrifice, the interests of athletes,” said USOC Chief Executive Jim Scherr. “We encourage Mr. Grandi and other officials within FIG who saw this as an appropriate remedy to begin taking this responsibility more seriously.”

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USA Comes From Behind To Win Team Silver

USA Comes From Behind To Win Team Silver

For Immediate Release – Aug. 16, 2004
Brian Eaton, USA Gymnastics

ATHENS – The U.S. men’s gymnastics team came from behind in the final rotation on high bar to win the team silver medal late Monday at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Greece. Team USA scored a 172.933 to trail Japan at 173.821. Romania took the bronze at 172.384.The men’s team medal is the United States’ first since 1984 and only the fourth in U.S. history. It marks the third consecutive team silver medal in this quadrennium following back-to-back team silvers at the 2001 and 2003 World Championships.

“We came here as a team. Our whole goal was to win a medal,” said team member Jason Gatson. vAll the individual stuff happens after the team. I’m just excited I’ve got a silver medal and I’m going home with a medal.v

The United States led the competition after stellar performances on floor and pommel horse. However, a lapse on still rings and vault dropped the U.S. to third behind Romania and Japan. As Romania struggled on parallel bars and high bar, the United States shined on two of its stronger events to surpass Romania for the silver. The U.S. earned a 9.712 from Blaine Wilson, followed by a 9.737 from Paul Hamm and a 9.825 from Jason Gatson to regain the lead for good.

vMy main focus was to come here and win a medal as a team, and we did just that,v said three-time Olympian Blaine Wilson. vIt wasn’t easy. We had a rough bit in the middle of the meet, but we got everyone together and said, let’s get this done.v

Team USA started fourth on floor, and watched contenders from Japan, China and Romania all step out of bounds. Leading off, Guard Young scored a 9.700. Morgan Hamm followed with a 9.712 and Paul Hamm finished the rotation with a 9.725 to put the U.S. in the lead. The U.S. men then scored two 9.650s and one 9.750 to keep the lead through pommel horse.

Japan took the lead on still rings, and turned it over to Romania after vault. However, Romania struggled on parallel bars, narrowing their lead to just 0.135 between first and third place after five rotations. Romania’s Razvan Selariu suffered a fall to lead off high bar, opening the door for both the U.S. and Japan to move ahead. Japan finished with scores of 9.787, 9.825 and 9.850 to seal the victory.

USA’s Brett McClure and Paul Hamm will now prepare for the men’s All-Around final on Weds., Aug. 18. Hamm qualified in 1st place for the final, with McClure qualifying in 19th place. Hamm also qualified for four event finals later in the week, and will be joined by brother Hamm in two of those events.

The team final is scored using a 6-3-3 format – three men compete and all three scores count – eliminating any margin for error. The 2004 Games is the first Olympics to use the 6-3-3 finals scoring format.

The United States led all nations with 18 medal opportunities across six nights of finals. Competition continues on Tuesday with the women’s team final at 9 p.m. at the Olympic Indoor Hall.

2004 Men’s U.S. Olympic Team
Name / Age / Hometown / Residence / Club
Jason Gatson 24 / Upland, Calif./Mesa / Ariz Colorado Springs, Colo. / Team Chevron-USOTC
Morgan Hamm 21 / Waukesha, Wis. / Columbus, OhiovTeam Chevron-Ohio
Paul Hamm 21 / Waukesha, Wis. / Columbus, Ohio / Team Chevron-Ohio
Brett McClure 23 / Mill Creek, Wash. / Colorado Springs, Colo. / Team Chevron-USOTC
Blaine Wilson 30 / Columbus, Ohio / Columbus, Ohio / Team Chevron-Ohio
Guard Young 27 / Oklahoma City, Okla. / Norman, Okla. / Team Chevron-Okla.For team bios, recent clippings, quotes, start orders and schedule information, visit: www.usa-gymnasticsolympics.com.

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