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Shannon Miller - Competitive Spirit

Famous Sports StarsGymnasticsShannon Miller Biography - An Energetic Child, Chronology, Competitive Spirit, Awards And Accomplishments, Where Is She Now? - CONTACT INFORMATION, SELECTED WRITINGS BY MILLER:

Competitive Spirit

When Miller returned to Oklahoma she realized that she would have to change coaches in order to compete against the elite gymnasts. She started training with Steve Nunno, who had also been part of the delegation that traveled to the Soviet Union, at his Dynamo Gymnastics program in Norman, Oklahoma. Nunno was frustrated by how easily Miller cried when she was not performing her best, but he also recognized that she was extremely talented and dedicated. "The most important characteristic that she has is her work ethic," Nunno told Krista Quiner in Shannon Miller America's Most Decorated Gymnast. "I mean, she is just a meticulous worker, that everything that she does, she does to perfection and she does over and over and over to get it prefect without any qualms about it."

At the age of ten Miller started competing in meets and only a year later she was winning medals. In 1988 she finished second in the all-around and third in the balance beam at the Junior Pan American Games in Ponce, Puerto Rico. A year later she finished sixth in the all-around competition at the International Junior Gymnastics Competition in Yokohama, Japan. That same year she won first place for the uneven bars and third place for the all-around competition at the United States Olympic Festival held in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

In 1990 Miller qualified for the senior United States National Team at the age of only thirteen. In her first United States Gymnastics Championship she finished eighth in the all-around. In 1991 she was part of the United States team that competed in the World Gymnastics Championships in Indianapolis, Indiana. She finished fourth in the all-around, while teammate Kim Zmeskal became the first American to win an all-around world championship. Miller also helped the United States win a silver medal for the team competition and she tied for second place on the uneven bars.

Awards and Accomplishments

1989 First place uneven bars and third place all-around, Junior National Championships
1990 First place all-around, vault, balance beam, and floor exercise, and second place uneven bars, Catania Cup
1991 First place balance beam and third place vault, United States Gymnastics Championships
1991 Second place team and uneven bars, World Gymnastics Championships
1992 First place all-around, United States Olympic Trials
1992 Second place all-around and balance beam, third place team, uneven bars, and floor exercise, Olympic Games
1992 Named Oklahoma Ambassador of Goodwill
1992 Named Edmond Citizen of the Year
1992 First female recipient of the Steve Reeves Award by the New York Downtown Athletic Club
1992 Received Jim Thorpe Award by the Oklahoma Amateur Athletic Union
1992 James E. Sullivan Award nominee by the Amateur Athletic Union
1993 First place team, all-around, vault, balance beam, and floor exercise, and second place uneven bars, United States Olympic Festival
1993 First place all-around, vault, uneven bars, and floor exercise, McDonald's American Cup
1993 First place all-around, uneven bars, and floor exercise, World Gymnastics Championships
1993 James E. Sullivan Award nominee by the Amateur Athletic Union
1993 Received Governor's Youth Award by the State of Oklahoma
1993 Named Female Athlete of the Year by the National March of Dimes
1993 Received Presidential medallion by USA Gymnastics
1994 First place all-around and balance beam, World Gymnastics Championships
1994 First place balance beam and floor exercise, second place all-around, vault and uneven bars, Goodwill Games
1994 James E. Sullivan Award nominee by the Amateur Athletic Union
1994 Received Dial Award for National High School Athlete/Scholar
1994 Named Athlete of the Year by the USA Gymnastics Congress
1994 Received Henry P. Iba Citizen Athlete Award
1994 Team Xerox Olympian
1994 Received Master of Sport Award
1994 Received Jim Thorpe Award by the Oklahoma Amateur Athletic Union
1995 James E. Sullivan Award nominee by the Amateur Athletic Union
1996 First place team and balance beam, Olympic Games
1996 James E. Sullivan Award nominee by the Amateur Athletic Union
1997 Co-Grand Marshal of the Rose Bowl Parade with Carl Lewis
1997 First place all-around, second place team, World University Games
2000 First place vault, Mississauga Gymnastics Challenge
2000 Second place uneven bars, John Hancock United States Gymnastics Championships
2002 Inducted into the Oklahoma Sports Hall of Fame

Where Is She Now?

Although Miller retired from gymnastics in 2001, she still remains involved in the sport. She works with children of all ages at summer gymnastics camps and also teaches specialized balance beam clinics. She has toured in exhibition performances and has served as a television sports analyst for gymnastics competitions. Miller also travels extensively as a motivational speaker, lecturing about how to set goals in life and how to overcome obstacles. In 1998 she also wrote a book with Nancy Ann Richardson called Winning Every Day: Gold Medal Advice for a Happy, Healthy Life! Miller is also finishing her Bachelor's degree in marketing and entrepreneurship. Additionally, she dedicates considerable time to charity work, particularly as a spokesperson for the Children's Miracle Network and the Special Olympics, as well as for muscular dystrophy, Alzheimer's disease, Drug Free Youth, the Make-A-Wish Foundation, and the Pediatric AIDS Foundation.

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