UCLA Gymnast Tasha Schwikert To Be Inducted Into USAG Hall Of Fame

March 4, 2008

UCLA senior gymnast Tasha Schwikert (Las Vegas, NV) will be inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame this summer as a member of the 2003 U.S. Women's World Championships Team. Schwikert was the team captain of the 2003 U.S. squad that won the country's first-ever team gold medal at the World Championships.

Schwikert and her teammates - Terin Humphrey, Courtney Kupets, Chellsie Memmel, Carly Patterson and Hollie Vise, along with alternates Annia Hatch and Ashley Postell - captured the gold medal despite a barrage of injuries that left only five of the eight team members and alternates available to compete in the team finals. Schwikert, Patterson and Vise were the only three original team members still standing at the team finals, along with original alternates Humphrey and Memmel. Nevertheless, the U.S. team outscored second-place Romania by nearly two points to capture the gold medal. Schwikert contributed two big scores to the team total, scoring a team-best 9.325 on vault and a 9.600 on uneven bars that was the second-highest mark in the competition.

'This is an amazing honor, especially at such a young age,' said Schwikert. 'When I think Hall of Fame, I think of legends in the sport, and to be included in the USAG Hall of Fame is just amazing to me.'

Recalling the championship, Schwikert said, 'That was an especially victorious and memorable win for us because of all of our struggles with injuries. We competed with just five girls instead of six in the team finals, where every score counted, and we overcame that to win the first gold medal in U.S. history.'

Schwikert, who was also a member of the 2000 U.S. Olympic team and a two-time U.S. all-around champion, is the first UCLA woman to be inducted in the USAG Hall of Fame. Several UCLA men have been honored, including UCLA assistant head coach Chris Waller in 2003. Other Bruins in the USAG Hall of Fame are Ray Bass (1959), Dallas Bixler (1960), Art Shurlock (1985), Glenn Berry (1988), Don Perry (1989), Peter Vidmar (1997), Tim Daggett (1988), Larry Banner (1993), Mitch Gaylord (1998), Scott Keswick (2003) and Chainey Umphrey (2005).

Joining the 2003 World Championship team in the 2008 class of inductees are rhythmic gymnast and 1996 Olympian Jessica Davis; 1964 Olympian and U.S. champion Marie Walther Bilski; 1976 U.S. Olympic team captain Wayne Young; synchronized trampoline and double mini-trampoline world champion Stuart Ransom; two-time NCAA champion Brent Simmons; three-time USAG Women's Coach of the Year Mary Lee Tracy; and contributor Wendy Hilliard.

The 2008 USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame luncheon and induction ceremony are scheduled for Sunday, June 22, at 11:30 a.m. at the Philadelphia (Pa.) Marriott Downtown. Tickets are $45 per person or $400 for a table of 10 people. For more information, visit USA-Gymnastics.org.

The USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame inducted its first class in 1959. Based in Indianapolis, USA Gymnastics is the national governing body for gymnastics in the United States. Its mission is to encourage participation and the pursuit of excellence in the sport. Its disciplines include men's and women's artistic gymnastics, rhythmic gymnastics, trampoline and tumbling, and acrobatic gymnastics.

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