Chat with Kerri Strug
Strug being carried off by her coach Bela Karolyi was an iconic image of the Atlanta Games.
Welcome to SportsNation! On Tuesday, Kerri Strug, former U.S. Olympic gold medalist, and member of the famed "Magnificent 7" women's gynmastics team, stops by to chat as the 2012 London Olympics approach.
Strug will forever be remembered for her second vault at the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta when, on an injured ankle, she completed the event to help the U.S. to the team gold. It was the first ever Olympics team gold for the U.S. in women's gymnastics.
Sixteen years after her famous vault, Strug is a teacher and a new mom -- her son was born in March -- and she continues to stay active and uses diet, exercise and sleep on her Sleep Number bed to keep after her newborn.
Send your questions now and join Strug Tuesday at 2 p.m. ET!
Buzzmaster (1:53 PM)
Kerri is here!
Buzzmaster (1:55 PM)
OK! Let's get started!
How often do fans want to stop you to talk about the 96 team?
Kerri Strug (1:56 PM)
It's really hit or miss sometimes. Right now with the Olympics coming up, it's on everyone's mind. I take the Metro to work and I don't think anyone knows or cares.
Did you have any long lasting damage from doing that vault on an injured ankle?
Kerri Strug (1:57 PM)
No, I've run quite a few marathons. When you're an athlete as you get older, your body is not the same. But I'm fortunate that I can live my life like I want to, I don't think I could do a vault like that, but it healed nicely.
Will you be doing anything for this year's Olympics?
Kerri Strug (1:58 PM)
Yes! I'm really excited to be going over to London to work with Hilton Honors. Every message posted on their website, they will have amenities for the U.S. I'm honored to be working with them.
Prediction for Team USA this year?
Kerri Strug (1:59 PM)
Team USA is phenomenal! They're mentally really tough. They're physically fit. They need to make sure they hone their skills. They pay attention to the details. And get ready of sleep. I've partnered with Sleep Number going into the games and people know about the diet going into the Games, but they often forget about how important sleep is. Even if you're not a Olympic athlete. I'm a new mom and if you don't get enough sleep, you know it. You can't focus as well, you don't eat as well. It's part of a healthy lifestyle. Everyone can benefit from a good bed and good sleep. I'm helping spread that message.
Hi Kerri, who is your all time favorite Olympian outside of your sport?
Kerri Strug (2:01 PM)
Oh my goodness! That's really hard. I'm a big fan of the Olympic movement. As a child I thought Greg Louganis was amazing. Mary Lou, she was amazing. Dan Jansen in the Winter Games is inspirational. We're all very excited about Michael Phelps. I can't just say one person. The list goes on and on.
Did you see the recent story about how Dominique found out she had a sister that was adopted? Have you talked to her since?
Kerri Strug (2:02 PM)
I'm good friends with Dominique. I did know about her sister. Having a child now myself, I can't imagine those sets of circumstances, giving your child away and not telling their siblings. I'm glad she found her sister and they can rekindle their relationship. It's a made for TV story in real life.
How do you think the Magnificent Seven compares to the team heading for London this summer?
Kerri Strug (2:02 PM)
This team is so talented. They have so much depth. They're reigning world champions. Much like our team in '96, they have a lot of expectations and I think they'll meet them in London.
What do you plan to have your son doing in terms of sports when he gets a little older? Will you encourage him to try gymnastics, or will you have him try a variety of sports and see what he likes best, or will you wait for him to speak up and choose a sport for himself?
Kerri Strug (2:03 PM)
I'm going to have him try a variety of sports and see what he likes best. There are Mommy and Me type classes for gymnastics that helps with coordination. They can jump on the trampoline. I will want to bring him in there and see how he likes it, but whatever sport he likes, baseball, soccer, tennis and see what he gravitates toward.
Do you still keep in contact with your fellow gymnasts?
Kerri Strug (2:04 PM)
A lot of the '96 team was in San Jose for the Olympic trials. I do keep in contact with Dominique, but I do see the others around. USA Gymnastics or the Olympics brings us together occasionally.
What are you up to now?
Kerri Strug (2:05 PM)
My primary focus is my son Tyler who is four months old. I also work for the Department of Justice. That's my regular job, you could say. And with this being an Olympic year, I'm busy promoting the Olympic Games.
Rob (San Diego)
Is it tough for athletes to adjust to life after the Olympics? How was your transition?
Kerri Strug (2:06 PM)
I think it really varies for the athlete. For some it's extremely difficult. you have this one goal for so long and everything revolves around it. Putting those characteristics toward a career or family so they can be successful there.
What are your favorite things to do in terms of exercise?
Kerri Strug (2:07 PM)
Like many others, I go to the actual gym, not a gymnastics gym. You do the elliptical machine, I run. I like the cardio work, but I do the pushups and situps too.
Dodge Garman (San Antonio, TX)
On your website you have a picture with some of your magnificent seven teammates and David Robinson at the Gymnastics Hall of Fame. What was he doing there and what did you talk about?
Kerri Strug (2:07 PM)
That was actually at the Olympic Hall of Fame. He was inducted in the same year as the Women's Gymnastics team was.
Chris Fiegler (Latham,NY)
Since you were a Gymnast, Will you Teach your Children Gymnastics in the Future?
Kerri Strug (2:08 PM)
No, I definitely will not be teaching him. For many parents, they do coach their child, but for me I want it to be in someone else's hands. I want to be the parent that's supportive.
What do you think of them moving the minimum Olympic age since your team in 96?
Kerri Strug (2:09 PM)
I'm not for the age limit, because I wouldn't have been able to compete in my first Olympic Games in Barcelona. I understand why they did it, but in a sport like gymnastics, the window is so short. The difference between 14 and 16 is arbitrary.
Kerri Strug (2:10 PM)
I just want to say: Go Team USA! Have a healthy lifestyle. Eat well, exercise and get the adequate sleep that you need. For more imformation, go to SleepNumber.com.
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