While Kerri Strug is far from being the greatest American gymnast, she is arguably the most famous after her gut-wrenching performance in the 1996 Olympic Games. Despite an injured ankle, she landed an unforgettable vault to help the U.S. clinch its first Olympic gold medal in the team gymnastics competition. The dramatic moment was captured by countless media organizations around the world, securing her place in sports history. Afterwards, Strug became a national hero, visiting the White House, appearing on various TV shows, making the cover of Sports Illustrated, and even appearing on a Wheaties cereal box with other members of her team.
However, Strug's rise in the gymnastics world began long before her Olympic heroics. At 8 years old she began competitive gymnastics, eventually becoming the youngest American on the Olympic squad in 1992, where she earned a bronze medal in the Barcelona Olympics. She was a three-time World Championship medalist and member of five World Championship teams since 1991. She also won the 1996 McDonald’s American Cup and 1995 U.S. Olympic Sports Festival. Although Strug is no longer in competitive gymnastics, she has served as a spokesperson for the Special Olympics and the Children’s Miracle Network, while participating in numerous other charitable causes. The Women’s Sports Foundation presented Strug with the Reebok/Lady FootLocker Giving Back Award in recognition of her community efforts.
Surprising many, Strug retired from gymnastics and started college only three months after the 1996 Olympics. Initially the gold medalist enrolled in UCLA, but following her sophomore year, she transferred to Stanford University. With numerous celebrity students already on the Palo Alto campus – such as Chelsea Clinton – Strug found it easier to transition into the next chapter of her life.
At Stanford, Strug mostly learned to put gymnastics behind her. She became a Kappa Alpha Theta member, moved into their sorority house, focused on her degree in communications, started running marathons for fun, and even spent a semester at sea, which happened to commence exactly three days before the start of the 2000 Summer Olympics in Sydney. By 2003 Strug, had received both her BA in communications and an MA in sociology from Stanford University.
While much of Strug's life is focused on new family and career endeavors, the only "interest" selected on Strug's LinkedIn page shows Stanford University, suggesting that future collaboration between the two is definitely possible.