Twenty years ago, seven U.S. teenagers earned the first U.S. Olympic women’s team title, inspiring many of the gymnasts who have now turned America into a burgeoning dynasty in the sport.
Amanda Borden, Amy Chow, Dominique Dawes, Shannon Miller, Dominique Moceanu, Jaycie Phelps and Kerri Strug took gold in the Georgia Dome on July 23, 1996.
Today, NBCOlympics.com pays tribute. LINKS:
Celebrate the 20-year anniversary
Magnificent Seven: Where are they now? | 20-year reunion
Dawes: ‘We’re getting old, and it’s awesome’
Miller: ‘Hopefully we continue to inspire’
Strug: ‘The day my life changed’
Fast Facts: 20 things you didn’t know about the Mag Seven
Quiz: How well do you know the Magnificent Seven?
Amanda Borden on Balance Beam
Amy Chow on Uneven Bars
Dominique Dawes on Uneven Bars
Shannon Miller on Balance Beam
Dominique Moceanu on Floor Exercise
Jaycie Phelps on Floor Exercise
Kerri Strug on Vault
Bonus: Medal Ceremony Video
Bonus: Olympians commentate Strug’s iconic vault
MORE: Analyzing U.S. Olympic women’s gymnastics team
Before this year, the Magnificent Seven had not been together in one place in several years.
They’ve recently reunited in advance of the 20th anniversary of their title, including for a TODAY interview that aired Tuesday.
Amanda Borden, Amy Chow, Dominique Dawes, Shannon Miller, Dominique Moceanu, Jaycie Phelps and Kerri Strug reflected on those life-changing memories.
All seven are in their 30s. Moceanu, the youngest in Atlanta at age 14, is now 34.
“Everyone is married, either starting families or have families of their own,” Dawes said.
Miller, who owns the U.S. gymnastics record of seven Olympic medals and beat ovarian cancer, said the Atlanta Games feel like a lifetime ago in some ways and like yesterday in others.
“You close your eyes, and you can still smell the sweat and the chalk of the arena,” she said.
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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’.
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.
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