Kerri Strug's Heroic Vault Was 25 Years Ago. See Her Now.
It's been 25 years since the Magnificent Seven won their gold medals at the 1996 Summer Olympics.
One of the most memorable moments in United States Olympic history is when Kerri Strug took to the vault at the 1996 Atlanta games. This was during the group final, and it was the last event for the U.S. women's team. If Strug nailed her vault, the team would win. Strug landed badly on her first attempt, tearing two ligaments in her ankle. But she went ahead with her second attempt anyway, sticking the landing and then immediately propping herself up on only one foot. Later, she was famously carried to the medal podium by team coach Béla Károlyi. Team USA took the gold and will forever be known as the Magnificent Seven.
The entire team has reunited a few times over the years, including for a Today show interview in 2016. Now, 25 years have past since their big win, and with the 2021 Tokyo Olympics starting up, we're checking in with this legendary group once again. Here's what Strug and the rest of the 1996 U.S. Olympic Women's Gymnastics Team are up to today.
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Kerri Strug: Then
Strug competed in the 1992 and 1996 Olympics. In 1992, she won a bronze medal as part of the team competition and upgraded to the gold four years later.
Kerri Strug: Now
After her Olympic career ended when she was 18 years old, Strug attended college—first at UCLA, then Stanford, and graduated with a masters degree in psychology. Strug, now 43, worked as an elementary school teacher before taking a job in the White House Office of Presidential Student Correspondence under president George W. Bush. As of 2008, she was a program manager in the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, according to an interview with Sports Illustrated. While Strug is no longer working in gymnastics, she has been a guest correspondent on occasion, including the Athens games in 2004.
As for her personal life, like most of her teammates, Strug shares updates on Instagram. She and her husband Robert Fischer have two young children.
Dominique Dawes: Then
Dominique Dawes competed in three Olympics: 1992, where she won a team bronze medal; 1996, where she won a team gold and individual bronze in floor exercise; and 2000, where she won a team bronze, which was awarded after the Chinese team's medal was revoked.
Dominique Dawes: Now
Dawes' career is still all about gymnastics. The 44-year-old runs the Dominque Dawes Gymnastics Academy in Maryland, where she's from. In addition to owning her own gym, some of her other career milestones include being the president of the Women's Sports Foundation in 2005 and 2006, being a correspondent for the 2008 and 2010 Olympics, and being named the co-chair of the President's Council on Fitness, Sports and Nutrition by Barack Obama. She is also one of the executive producers of the new documentary Golden: The Journey of USA's Elite Gymnasts.
Dawes' husband's name is Jeff Thompson, and they have four children together.
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Dominique Moceanu: Then
The 1996 games were the only Olympics Dominique Moceanu participated in, and she was the youngest on the team at only 14 years old. The year prior, at 13, she became the youngest gymnast to win the USA Gymnastics National Championships. Now, you must be 16 years old to compete in gymnastics at the Olympics.
Dominique Moceanu: Now
Like Dawes, Moceanu also owns a gym, the Dominique Moceanu Gymnastics Center in Medina, Ohio. The gym also has a yoga studio, and Moceanu is an instructor. Following her gymnastics career, the now 39-year-old wrote a memoir titled Off Balance, in which she recounted hard times she experienced in her family life and as a young gymnast working under a grueling training schedule. She later became active in helping those gymnasts who were abused by USA national team doctor Larry Nassar, who's now in prison after being convicted on several counts of sexual assault.
Moceanu and her husband, Michael Canales, have two kids.
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Shannon Miller: Then
With a total of seven, Shannon Miller has won the most Olympic medals of any U.S. gymnast. She won two silver medals in the individual all-around and balance beam in 1992; bronze medals in uneven bars, floor exercise, and the team competition that same year; and gold medals for team and balance beam in 1996.
Shannon Miller: Now
Following her gymnastics career, Miller attended the University of Houston for undergrad and then Boston College, where she received her law degree. But, rather than practicing law, Miller became a motivational speaker, launched a brand focused on women's health, and became a spokesperson for various other companies and organizations. Like some of her other teammates, she has also contributed to gymnastics sports coverage. She published a memoir, It's Not About Perfect: Competing for My Country and Fighting for My Life, in 2015.
In 2011, Miller was diagnosed with ovarian cancer, but after going through chemotherapy, she has now been cancer-free for 10 years. The 44-year-old is married to her second husband, John Falconetti, and they have two children.
Amy Chow: Then
Amy Chow competed in the 1996 Olympics, where she won the silver medal for the uneven bars in addition to her team gold medal. She went on to compete in the 2000 Olympics, winning the bronze team medal alongside Dawes and their other new teammates.
Amy Chow: Now
Chow became a doctor after retiring from gymnastics. She graduated from Stanford University with a degree in biology and then graduated from Stanford Medical School. Chow was awarded a Paul & Daisy Soros Fellowships for New Americans in 2003. According to the fellowship's site, the 43-year-old is now a doctor and surgeon, who runs a private medical practice with her husband, fellow surgeon Jason Ho, in northern California. The couple also have two children together.
Jaycie Phelps: Then
Like Moceanu, Jaycie Phelps only competed in the 1996 Olympics. But, like the rest of the Magnificent Seven, she also saw success at competitions like the World and National Championships.
Jaycie Phelps: Now
Since 2010, Phelps has owned the Jaycie Phelps Athletic Center in her hometown of Greenfield, Indiana, which she opened with her father as co-founder, according to the Greenfield Reporter. The gym's website explains, "Jaycie wanted to open JPAC to give kids in her hometown the chance to achieve their dreams the way she was able to."
Phelps, now 41, runs the gymnastics center with her second husband, Dave Marus, with whom she has two children.
Amanda Borden: Then
Amanda Borden was the team captain of the the 1996 Olympic team. She's another gymnast who went to that games, winning the gold medal along with her team.
Amanda Borden: Now
After gymnastics, Borden graduated from Arizona State University with a degree in early childhood education. She now co-owns Gold Medal Gymnastics Academy, which has two locations in Arizona, with her husband. She has also been a gymnastics and cheerleading commentator for a variety of networks, and even won an Emmy for her work covering NCAA gymnastics, according to her gym's website.
Borden, 44, is married to Brad Cochran with whom she has three kids.
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