Shannon Miller - An Energetic Child
Famous Sports StarsGymnasticsShannon Miller Biography - An Energetic Child, Chronology, Competitive Spirit, Awards And Accomplishments, Where Is She Now? - CONTACT INFORMATION, SELECTED WRITINGS BY MILLER:
An Energetic Child
Shannon Lee Miller was born on March 10, 1977 in Rolla, Missouri. She was the second of three children born to Ron Miller, a college physics professor, and Claudia Miller, a bank executive. When Miller was four months old, her family moved to Edmond, Oklahoma where her father accepted a job at the University of Central Oklahoma. Around the same time Miller's pediatrician noticed a problem with the development of her legs - they seemed to be turning in rather than growing straight. To correct the problem, an orthopedic surgeon recommended that Miller wear leg braces for a year. Her parents and doctors thought that this problem might delay her learning how to crawl and walk, but Miller developed normally.
As a young child Miller looked up to her older sister, Tessa, and wanted to do everything that she did. At age four Miller started taking ballet lessons because her sister had. Within a year both girls had become bored with dancing and they set their sights on gymnastics. In 1982 they asked for a trampoline for Christmas. Their parents reluctantly bought them one, and the girls were thrilled. Their parents, however, were frightened by some of the flips the girls were doing. They suggested that the girls take gymnastics lessons so that they would not hurt themselves on the trampoline at home. The sisters started taking lessons once a week. The instructor, Jerry Clavier, noticed potential in the girls and asked them to come for lessons one hour a day, five days a week. Older sister, Tessa, was not interested in the extra commitment and she decided to take art lessons instead. However, Shannon was up to the challenge.
Miller steadily increased her time at the gym and she progressed through the higher levels of gymnastics classes, despite her young age and small size. By the time she was seven years old, Coach Clavier had her preparing for the United States Association of Independent Gymnastics Clubs (USAIGC) testing program. Miller and five other girls from the gym passed the rigorous tests. As a reward, the team traveled to Houston to attend a training camp held by the legendary gymnastics coach, Bela Karolyi. When Miller was barely nine years old she had an opportunity to travel with an American and Canadian delegation to the Soviet Union for a gymnastics camp. Miller was often frustrated by her inability to complete the difficult tasks set forth by the Soviet coaches, but at the same time she was impressed by the skills of their gymnasts and she was determined to became as good as they were.