Amanda Borden

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Magnificent Seven to highlight Parade of Olympians at gymnastics trials

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Earlier this year, USA Gymnastics invited all 198 of its living Olympians and Olympic alternates to convene for a reunion at the U.S. Olympic women’s team trials July 8-10 in San Jose, Calif. Around 130 are expected to attend.

Featured among that group will be the Magnificent Seven: Amanda Borden, Amy Chow, Dominique Dawes, Shannon Miller, Dominique Moceanu, Jaycie Phelps and Kerri Strug. The darlings of the 1996 Atlanta Games, they were the first female gymnasts from the U.S. to capture the Olympic team gold medal.

Many of the women became household names around the country, especially Strug. Her vault performance on an injured ankle remains etched in many minds, including many Olympians’.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7ZRYiOa5lM8&w=560&h=315%5D

Borden and Strug said earlier this year that they don’t think all seven of their teammates have been together since 2008, when the Magnificent Seven was honored during a U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame induction. They were hoping to reunite at least once in 2016 to celebrate the 20-year anniversary of their triumphant achievement, and now they will.

A Parade of Olympians will take place in San Jose on July 9, and is expected to also include past Olympic champions Tim Daggett, Mary Lou Retton, Paul Hamm, Carly Patterson, Shawn Johnson and Nastia Liukin.

The 2016 U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastics team will be announced July 10.

MORE: First gymnasts named to U.S. Olympic team

Magnificent Seven reunion in the works

Magnificent Seven gymnastics
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Magnificent Seven teammates had a message for team captain Amanda Borden after they won gold at the Atlanta 1996 Olympics.

“You have to get us back together,” Borden remembered in a phone interview Friday.

Reunions have been rare in the last 15 years, but Borden said she’s been in contact with all of her teammates to arrange at least one get-together in 2016 to mark the 20-year anniversary of their Olympic triumph.

“It’s easier said than done,” said Borden, who owns two Phoenix-area gyms with her husband and has three children. “I know every one of us really wants to make it happen. We are definitely doing it. It’s just a matter of if all of us can be there.”

It may happen in Atlanta. It may be at a USA Gymnastics event, such as the Olympic trials in San Jose, Calif., in July. It may be somewhere less visible, such as a warm beach.

It probably won’t happen in Rio de Janeiro, because it’s hard to coordinate the schedules of all seven women for an event abroad, even though some will be at the Olympics anyway.

Borden and Kerri Strug said they don’t remember all seven members of the team being together since 2008, the year the Magnificent Seven shared a stage for a U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame induction (photo here).

“[Borden] has put out the feelers; it seems like we’re on board,” Strug said while in New York last month for an Epson “Swimming in Ink” event with U.S. synchronized swimmers. “Do we want to do a cruise or take a vacation?”

The other Magnificent Seven team members were Amy Chow, Dominique Dawes, Shannon MillerDominique Moceanu and Jaycie Phelps.

MORE GYMNASTICS: Shannon Miller recalls 1996 Olympic podium thoughts in book excerpt