AFTER Carly Patterson (center) won the 2004 Olympic all-
around gold, the chances of the
2008 winner coming from the
same gym in Plano, Texas, were
unthinkable. Or where they?
Nastia Liukin (left) claimed the
all-around title in Beijing to give
World Olympic Gymnastics
Academy (WOGA) back-to-back
Olympic champions. Both are
shown here with Valeri Liukin,
who coached Nastia to her gold,
during a brief ceremony at the
Visa Championships in Dallas.
Yevgeny Marchenko (not present)
was Patterson’s coach.
Afterward, one question
remained: Can WOGA make it a
three-peat in 2012?
During the Visa Championships in Dallas in August, certain local residents
were honored for their historic achievements in the sport. After becoming
the first American male world champioin in 1978 (floor exercise), Kurt
Thomas (above left) won six medals (two of them gold) at the 1979 worlds
in nearby Fort Worth. He received his award from 1979 worlds teammate
Peter Vidmar (above right), now Chairman of the Board of Directors for USA
Gymnastics. Also honored was Kim Zmeskal-Burdette, whose 1991 world
all-around victory was another first for USA Gymnastics. She is grinning
here with her former coach Bela Karolyi. Both Thomas and Zmeskal-
Burdette operate their own gyms in the Dallas area.
JEFF SIPSE Y ( 3); RICHARD ENDO ( THOMAS, 1978);
NANCY RAYMOND/IG (ZMESKAL, 1991)