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Thursday, September 29, 2011

Your daily dose of gymnastics: Shannon Miller

Shannon Miller has recently recovered from cancer, and if you watched her throughout her career you probably had no doubt that a gymnast so consistent, confident, and hard-working would put away the cancer as surely as she put away the competition.

Frankly, I've always thought she should have had the gold in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics over Tatiana Gutsu, but scores had crept so high that differentiating between first and second place was nearly impossible.

Here's Shannon on her final event at the 1992 Olympic all-around final:

And here's Tatiana's to compare:

Granted, there were three other events to consider and Gutsu was also a very talented gymnast. However, it did come down to the vault and I think Shannon's is better.

Anyway, here she is when she was teeny tiny (well, really teeny tiny) and already just crazy talented:

And here is she earning the gold on beam at the 1996 Atlanta Olympics:

And just to show what a great all-arounder she was, here's a bar routine for good measure. It's also worth noting that Shannon, coached by Steve Nunno and Peggy Liddick at the height of the Karolyi era, had a much more innovative and diverse repertoire of skills than the Karolyi girls, who were known for safe "stock"routines, particularly on bars.

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