Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Gymnast Alicia Sacramone retires
INDIANAPOLIS -- Gymnast Alicia Sacramone is retiring after setting a U.S. record with 10 medals at the world championships.
The 25-year-old had called it quits after the Beijing Olympics, where she was captain of the U.S. team that won the silver medal. But she returned in 2010 and won three more medals at the world championships, including a gold on vault in 2010. It was her second world title, following her floor exercise gold in 2005.
Sacramone's 10th world medal broke a tie with Shannon Miller and Nastia Liukin for most by a U.S. gymnast, and it came without her even being on the floor. Sacramone ruptured her Achilles tendon during training at the 2011 worlds, where the Americans went on to win the team title.
Sacramone made a comeback last summer, but failed to make the team for the London Olympics.
"Alicia has had a major impact on women's gymnastics," said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. "Her personality, sense of humor and leadership skills were important ingredients in the success of our team."
Sacramone's 10 medals at the world championships is a record for the United States in the sport. She won two individual world titles (floor, 2005; vault, 2010); helped Team USA to its first-ever team gold medal on foreign soil in 2007; and was a member of the 2011 gold-medal winning world championships team. She also holds the U.S. record for the most individual event titles with her six vault crowns.
"It has truly been an honor to be a part of and represent USA Gymnastics for the last decade," said Sacramone in a statement. "I want to thank my parents, coaches, family and the gymnastics community for supporting me through the years and giving me many lasting memories.
"Gymnastics has taught me many life lessons and has shaped me into the person I am today, and for that, I'll be eternally grateful," she said. "Even though I'm hanging up my leotard, I'm not stepping away from the sport completely. I plan to stay involved as much as I can through coaching, creating choreography and commentating at NCAA gymnastics competitions."
Peter Vidmar, chairman of the board for USA Gymnastics and a two-time Olympic gold medalist, said the organization would "miss seeing her perform, but we are glad she will continue to be a part of the USA Gymnastics family."
Martha Karolyi, the women's national team coordinator, called her an "excellent team leader, helping the younger generation understand the standards of international gymnastics."
In addition to commentating, coaching and choreography, Sacramone's future plans also include Sole Impact, a company that she co-owns.
Information from The Associated Press was used in this report.