2000 U.S. Olympic Gymnastics Team With Four UCLA Alumni To Receive Olympic Bronze Medals
April 28, 2010
UCLA alumni Jamie Dantzscher, Kristen Maloney, Tasha Schwikert and Alyssa Beckerman can now call themselves members of an Olympic bronze medalist team after the International Olympic Committee (IOC) stripped China of its 2000 Olympic team bronze medal due to a team member not meeting the age requirement. The IOC announced today that it would award the team bronze to the United States, which originally finished fourth in the team competition. The decision, made during the IOC's Executive Board meetings in Dubai, UAE, was based on the recommendation of the International Gymnastics Federation (FIG).
The 2000 U.S. Olympic team members were Amy Chow, Dantzscher, Dominique Dawes, Maloney, Elise Ray, Schwikert and Morgan White, who was named to the team but injured prior to the Games. Beckerman was the alternate. The coaching staff included national team coordinator Bela Karolyi, head coach Kelli Hill and assistant coach Steve Rybacki.
'USA Gymnastics is grateful that the FIG and IOC took the time to thoroughly review and address this issue that was first raised at the Beijing Olympics,' said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. 'Every athlete dreams about winning an Olympic medal. In 2000, our athletes and coaches worked tirelessly leading up to the Olympics and this recognition will certainly have great meaning.'
After conducting an internal investigation, the FIG nullified the results of Chinese gymnast Dong Fangxiao at the 2000 Olympic Games in February 2010. It was determined that Dong was 14 years of age in 2000, which violated the rule that gymnasts must be at least 16 years old to compete in the Olympic Games. The FIG recommended that the IOC strip China of the team bronze medal.
Maloney, Dantzscher and Beckerman came to UCLA directly after the Games and won NCAA team championships in 2001, 2003 and 2004. Maloney won the NCAA vault and balance beam titles as a senior in 2005 and went on to win the Honda Award that year. Dantzscher won the NCAA all-around, vault and floor exercise crowns in 2002 and the uneven bars title in 2003 and set a UCLA record by scoring 28 perfect 10s in her career. Beckerman was a first-team All-American and Pac-10 champion on balance beam in 2002. Schwikert, who was the youngest member of the 2000 Olympic squad, competed at UCLA from 2005-08 and won NCAA all-around titles in her freshman and senior seasons, along with the 2008 NCAA uneven bars crown.
(information courtesy USA Gymnastics)