10-time World medalist Sacramone retires from competitive gymnastics

Courtesy of USAGym.org

INDIANAPOLIS, Jan. 29, 2013 – 2008 Olympic team silver-medalist Alicia Sacramone of Winchester, Mass/Brestyan’s American Gymnastics, whose 10 World Championships medals is a record for the United States in gymnastics, today announced her retirement from competitive gymnastics. Sacramone 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. Most recently, Sacramone performed in the 40-city Kellogg’s Tour of Gymnastics Champions.

“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. Alicia is a strong individual who knows what she wants and is not afraid to put herself out there to achieve it. I am confident she will be involved in the sport for a very long time.”

“It has truly been an honor to be a part of and represent USA Gymnastics for the last decade,” said Sacramone. “I want to thank my parents, coaches, family and the gymnastics community for supporting me through the years and giving me many lasting memories. I’ve been so blessed to have had such a long career and to have made so many friendships with my teammates, fans and coaches along the way.

“I wouldn’t be where I am today without the talent given to me by God and a strong work ethic engrained in me through years of commitment and training,” said Sacramone. “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. 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.”

“Alicia has been an integral part of the women’s success for the last two Olympic cycles,” said Peter Vidmar, chairman of the Board for USA Gymnastics and two-time Olympic gold medalist. “She has thrilled fans with her powerful vaults, exciting beam routines and dynamic floor exercise. Alicia’s talent, determination and perseverance have inspired her teammates and many young gymnasts, as well as enabled her to acquire 10 World medals, the most by a U.S. gymnast. We will miss seeing her perform, but we are glad she will continue to be a part of the USA Gymnastics family and wish her the best as she begins the next chapter.”

“Alicia was special, and determined to accomplish the goals she set for herself,” said Martha Karolyi, the women’s national team coordinator. “Alicia had a great career, full of success that was well earned. She also showed her strength of character by the dignified way she handled the moments that fell short of her goals. Alicia became an excellent team leader, helping the younger generation understand the standards of international gymnastics. I always will remember Alicia with a smile on my face, and I wish her the best with her future endeavors.”

“Alicia is one of the most talented gymnasts I have ever coached,” said Mihai Brestyan of Brestyan’s American Gymnastics, who began coaching Sacramone at 9 years of age. “You could see right away that she was super-talented. Alicia combined power and beauty in her gymnastics, which is very rare. She had everything it takes to perform gymnastics at the highest level – brains, elegance, power, artistry, execution, drive, determination and desire.

“Alicia was always a leader,” said Brestyan. “She was a natural with her personality and huge heart, taking care of anyone who needed help. She had respect for the sport, and gained the respect of others for her commitment and playing an important part of the team for two Olympic cycles. Alicia is amazing and has left her mark on the sport of gymnastics. We will miss her but we wish her only the best.”

In addition to commentating, coaching and choreography, Sacramone’s future plans also include Sole Impact, a company that she co-owns. Sole Impact Socks are preventative apparel that absorbs up to 94.7 percent of all impact shock, and consistent wearing of the socks greatly reduces the incidence of shock. Sacramone co owns it with Ellen Spicuzza, an orthopedic nurse specialist. For more information, go to soleimpact.com.

Sacramone’s gymnastics career

In 2003, Sacramone made the first of her nine U.S. Senior National Teams. Then, in 2004, she made her first international statement by helping the United States to the team title at the Pacific Alliance Championships, as well as claiming the vault gold medal. Sacramone capped 2004 off by defeating the reigning Olympic vault champion, Monica Rosu of Romania, at the World Cup Final in Birmingham, England.

Sacramone won her first World title in 2005, topping the floor exercise standings. She also won the bronze medal on vault, adding to Team USA’s nine medal performance – the most ever at a World Championships. Sacramone added two more medals to her collection at the 2006 World Championships with silvers for the team and vault.

In 2007, Sacramone anchored floor for the United States in the final rotation of the team competition. Her near-perfect routine capped off a winning effort for the U.S., cementing the first-ever World team gold medal on foreign soil and the second overall. Sacramone left the World Championships with a complete set of medals, earning the floor exercise silver medal and the vault bronze medal.

After the 2008 Beijing Olympics, where Sacramone was a member of the U.S. team that won the silver medal and finished fourth in the vault final, she took a brief step away from the sport.

She returned to competition in 2010 as if no time had passed. After winning the U.S. vault crown, Sacramone won the vault gold medal and helped Team USA to a second-place finish at the World Championships – just five months after her return to competition. Sacramone also made her first World beam final, finishing fifth.

A year later, as a member of the 2011 World Championships team, Sacramone earned her record-breaking 10th World medal when the Americans won their first team title since 2007.

An Achilles tendon tear forced Sacramone into comeback mode in 2012. In her return to competition at the 2012 Visa Championships, Sacramone won her sixth U.S. vault title, an individual event record for both men and women. She also won the bronze medal on the balance beam. At the U.S. Olympic Trials – Gymnastics, Sacramone finished second on both the vault and the balance beam.

Domestically, Sacramone has won nine individual national titles, including six on vault (2005-08, 2010, 2012), two on floor exercise (2005-06) and one on balance beam (2011). Sacramone also competed for the women’s gymnastics team at Brown University.

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