News/Events

 

Gymnastics Legends to be honored by the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2015

OKLAHOMA CITY – Five gymnastics legends will be honored at the 19th annual International Gymnastics Hall of Fame (IGHOF) ceremony on Saturday, May 16, 2015, at the Petroleum Club in Oklahoma City.

The IGHOF Class of 2015 Inductees are:

  • Elena Zamolodchikova (Russia): 2-time gold medalist at the 2000 Olympics
  • Valery Belenky (Azerbaijan): 1992 Olympic gold medalist and 4-time World gold medalist

In addition to the two Hall of Fame inductions, there will be three special awards presented that evening.  The Frank Bare Award will be presented to 2-time Olympian and renowned Olympic coach, Abie Grossfeld for his important contributions to gymnastics in the US.

The Nadia Comaneci Sportsmanship Award will be presented to Joanna Quaas of Germany who at 89 years of age still competes in senior gymnastics competitions. 

The AAI International Order of Merit will be awarded to Philippe Silacci of Switzerland who recently retired as the Chief Media Operations Officer for the International Gymnastics Federation based in Switzerland.

"It is going to be inspiring to have so many gymnastics legends at the Petroleum Club that evening," Bart Conner, Chairman of the IGHOF board, said.

Over the past 18 years, 85 of gymnastics greatest stars and contributors, representing 21 countries, have been formally inducted into the Hall of Fame. The IGHOF is home to gymnastics greats such as Vera Caslavska, Nadia Comaneci, Olga Korbut, Mary Lou Retton, Nikolai Andrianov, Bart Conner, Sawao Kato, and Vitaly Scherbo.

Founded in 1987, the IGHOF was originally located in Oceanside, California. In 1996, it was relocated to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where it has developed a solid foundation of private support.

"People are often surprised to know that this is the only International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in existence, and it is endorsed by the International Gymnastics Federation," Conner said.

The International Gymnastics Hall of Fame continues to preserve, promote and share the achievements of the sport's greatest legends, with the IGHOF exhibit at the Science Museum Oklahoma in the Adventure District in Oklahoma City. Visitors can try out gymnastics equipment, view portraits of all inductees, see sculptures, paintings and memorabilia, and use the video kiosk to view videos and study the careers of the international gymnastics stars.

"Our goal is to preserve the legacies of these international gymnastics legends, and use their stories of achievement to inspire future generations," Conner said.

For tickets to the IGHOF dinner ceremony, contact Lynn Landis at 405-364-5344.

For media requests, contact Allison Keiffer at Allison@intlgymnast.com or call 405-364-5344.

The International Gymnastics Hall of Fame is a dynamic, forward-looking organization that celebrates the athletic and artistic excellence of our sport's most accomplished athletes and legends, and connects them with future generations of young gymnasts and fans.

Gymnastics Legends honored by the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2014

OKLAHOMA CITY – Five gymnastics legends were honored at the 18th annual International Gymnastics Hall of Fame (IGHOF) induction ceremony on Saturday, May 17,2014, at the Petroleum Club in Oklahoma City.

The IGHOF Class of 2014 Inductees are:

  • Natalia Yurchenko (Russia): 1983 World All-Around Champion, inventor of the Yurchenko vault
  • Jackie Fie (USA): 1956 Olympian, former President of FIG Women's Technical Committee
  • Li Yuejiu (China): China's first mens World Champion, 1984 Olympic silver medalist
  • Klaus Köste (GER, deceased): 3-time Olympian, 1972 Olympic vault champion

 

The Frank Bare Award was presented to renowned TV commentator for ABC Wide World of Sports Gordon Maddux for his important contributions, and promotion of gymnastics.

Also, although they were not being formally inducted into the IGHOF, the 1984 USA Olympic men's gymnastics team, comprised of Bart Conner, Tim Daggett, Mitch Gaylord, James Hartung, Scott Johnson and Peter Vidmar, were on hand to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their historic team gold medal.

"It was an emotional night to have so many of our sport's true 'game-changers' all in one room," Bart Conner, Chairman of the IGHOF board, said.

Over the past 17 years, 81 of gymnastics greatest stars and contributors, representing 21 countries, have been formally inducted into the Hall of Fame. The IGHOF is home to gymnastics greats such as Vera Caslavska, Nadia Comaneci, Olga Korbut, Mary Lou Retton, Nikolai Andrianov, Bart Conner Sawao Kato, and Vitaly Scherbo.

Founded in 1987, the IGHOF was originally located in Oceanside, California. In 1996, it was relocated to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where it has developed a solid foundation of private support.

"People are often surprised to know that this is the only International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in existence, and it is endorsed by the International Gymnastics Federation which is based in Switzerland," Conner said.

The International Gymnastics Hall of Fame continues to preserve, promote and share the achievements of the sport's greatest legends, with the IGHOF exhibit at the Science Museum Oklahoma in the Adventure District in Oklahoma City. Visitors can try out gymnastics equipment, view portraits of all inductees, see sculptures, paintings and memorabilia, and use the video kiosk to study the videos and careers of the international gymnastics stars.

"Our goal is to preserve the legacies of these international gymnastics legends, and use their stories of achievement to inspire future generations," Conner said.

For more information about the IGHOF and how you can be a member or donor, visit our membership page

For media requests, contact Allison Keiffer at Allison@intlgymnast.com or call 405-364-5344.

Six Gymnastics Greats Honored at the 2013 Induction Ceremonies

The International Gymnastics Hall of Fame honored six gymnastics greats at its 17th annual Induction Ceremony on May 18, 2013, in Oklahoma City.

This year the IGHOF formally enshrined four gymnastics legends:

  • Albert Azaryan (Armenia), winner of four Olympic medals –three gold – in 1956 and 1960, and winner of five World Championship medals.
  • Lyubov Burda (Russia), 1968 and 1972 Olympic Gold medalist and 1970 team World Champion and bronze medalist on the vault.
  • Gina Gogean (Romania), winner of five Olympic medals at the 1992 Barcelona and 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and winner of 15 World Championship medals.
  • Yuri Korolev (Russia), most decorated non-Olympic gymnast, including 13 medals – nine gold – across four World Championships (1981, '83, '85 and '87).

 "We're thrilled to honor these gymnastics icons who have won a total of 11 Olympic and 35 World Championship medals together," Bart Conner, Chairman of the IGHOF board, said. Both Burda (2001) and Korolev (2010) were inducted previously but haven't been able to attend until this year, Conner added.

The IGHOF also honored Mr. Hidenori Futagi, President of the Japan Gymnastics Association, with the International Order of Merit Award.  The award honors those who have made a most significant contribution to the development, the maintaining of harmony, and the advancement of participation and appreciation for the sport of gymnastics in their homeland, their region and the world of sport.

The IGHOF also initiated a new program designed to link today's current gymnastics heroes with the Hall of Fame legends. The Nadia Comaneci Sportsmanship Award honors a currently competitive or recently retired gymnast from around the world who has demonstrated great sportsmanship or fair play. The award's first recipient, Jordyn Wieber, was a member of USA's "Fierce Five" gymnastics team at the 2012 London Olympics, a two-time World Champion, and now Olympic Gold Medalist.

"Our entire board of directors has worked hard to make the IGHOF awards one of our sport's highest honors, and we are delighted that this year's dinner celebration was one of our finest ever," Conner said.

Four Gymnastics Legends to be honored by the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame-
Class of 2013 to join prestigious group

OKLAHOMA CITY – Four international gymnastics legends will be honored at the 17th annual International Gymnastics Hall of Fame (IGHOF) ceremony on May 18, 2013, at the Petroleum Club in Oklahoma City.

The class of 2013 honorees includes:

  • Albert Azaryan (Armenia), winner of four Olympic medals –three gold – in 1956 and 1960, and winner of five World Championship medals.
  • Lyubov Burda (Russia), 1968 and 1972 Olympic Gold medalist and 1970 team World Champion and bronze medalist on the vault.
  • Gina Gogean (Romania), winner of five Olympic medals at 1992 Barcelona and 1996 Atlanta Olympics, and winner of 15 World Championship medals.
  • Yuri Korolev (Russia), most decorated non-Olympic gymnast, including 13 medals – nine gold – across four World Championships (1981, '83, '85 and '87).

"We're thrilled to honor these four gymnastics icons who have won a total of 11 Olympic and 35 World Championship medals together," Bart Conner, Chairman of the IGHOF board, said. "Both Burda (2001) and Korolev (2010) were inducted previously but haven't been able to attend until this year," Conner said.

Over the past 16 years, 79 of gymnastics greatest stars and contributors, representing 20 countries, have been formally inducted into the Hall of Fame. The IGHOF is home to gymnastics greats such as Olga Korbut, Nadia Comaneci, Mary Lou Retton, Vera Caslavska, Nikolai Andrianov, Sawao Kato, Vitaly Scherbo, and Bart Conner.

The IGHOF, founded in 1987, was originally located in Oceanside, California. In 1996, it was relocated to Oklahoma City, Oklahoma, where it has developed a solid foundation of public and private support.

"People are often surprised to know that this is the only International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in existence, and it is endorsed by the International Gymnastics Federation which is based in Switzerland," Conner said.

The International Gymnastics Hall of Fame continues to preserve, promote and share the achievements of the sport's greatest legends, with the IGHOF exhibit at the Science Museum Oklahoma in the Adventure District in Oklahoma City. Visitors can try out gymnastics equipment, view portraits of all inductees, see sculptures, paintings and memorabilia, and soon be able to interact with a kiosk to learn about the Hall of Fame and its inductees.

"Our goal is to preserve the legacies of these international gymnastics legends, and use their stories of achievement to inspire future generations," Conner said.

The International Gymnastics Hall of Fame is a dynamic, forward-looking organization that celebrates the athletic and artistic excellence of our sport's most accomplished athletes and legends, and connects them with future generations of young gymnasts and fans.

For more information about the IGHOF and how you can be a member or donor, visit www.ighof.com.

For tickets to the IGHOF ceremony, contact Lynn Landis at 405-364-5344.

For media requests, contact Alisha East at Alisha@bartconnergymnastics.com or 405-447-7500.

INTERNATIONAL GYMNASTICS HALL OF FAME ANNOUNCES THE FRANK BARE AWARD –
Emmy Award winning ABC Sports producer Doug Wilson inaugural recipient

March 9, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY – The board of directors for the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame (IGHOF) has announced the creation of "The Frank Bare Award" honoring the contributions of exceptional individuals in their roles as tireless ambassadors and promoters for the sport of gymnastics.

The new award celebrates the legacy of its namesake, Frank Bare, the long-time IGHOF chairman of the board, who passed away in 2011.

Mr. Bare was one of the most beloved leaders and admired statesmen in the history of gymnastics in the United States. While serving as the first executive director of the U.S. Gymnastics Federation, he guided the sport into its golden age of popularity. Mr. Bare conceived of and staged promotional tours and competitions, including the American Cup, that introduced much of the world to such legendary stars as Nadia Comaneci, Bart Conner, Olga Korbut, Cathy Rigby, Nikolai Andrianov, Kurt Thomas and dozens more.

"There is a magical appeal, a universal spark at the core of gymnastics, and Frank Bare found countless ways to share it with the world," said Bart Conner, IGHOF board president. "The Frank Bare Award celebrates individuals who, like Frank, have enabled all of us to tap into that magic and discover its power to inspire excellence.  The Frank Bare Award is sponsored in-part by our dear friend, and longtime gymnastics supporter Jana Poland."

The inaugural recipient of The Frank Bare Award is Doug Wilson. As an Emmy award-winning television producer/director for ABC's Wide World of Sports, he made significant contributions to popularizing gymnastics during the 1960s, '70s and '80s.

Mr. Wilson will be presented the award during the IGHOF induction ceremonies for the Class of 2012, to be held May 19th in Oklahoma City, OK.  Also taking part will be gymnastics legend Vera Caslavska, whose 1964 and 1968 Olympic triumphs were seen by millions, thanks to broadcasts produced by the team at ABC's Wide World of Sports.

The International Gymnastics Hall of Fame is a dynamic, forward-looking organization that celebrates the athletic and artistic excellence of our sport's most accomplished athletes and legends, and connects them with future generations of young gymnasts and fans.

For tickets to the IGHOF Ceremony, contact Lynn Landis, at Paul Ziert and
Associates at 405-364-5344.

Media requests, contact Alisha East at Alisha@bartconnergymnastics.com at 405-447-7500.

FIVE GYMNASTICS LEGENDS TO BE HONORED BY THE INTERNATIONAL GYMNASTICS HALL OF FAME
Class of 2012 to join prestigious group

March 7, 2012

OKLAHOMA CITY – Five international gymnastics legends will be honored at the 16th annual International Gymnastics Hall of Fame (IGHOF) Ceremony on May 19, 2012, at the Petroleum Club in Oklahoma City.

The class of 2012 honorees includes:

  • Kim Zmeskal (USA) – First American World All-Around Champion, 1992 Olympic Bronze medalist.
  • Natalia Shaposhnikova (RUS)- Winner of 4 medals, including 2 gold, at the 1980 Olympics.
  • Zoltan Magyar (HUN) – 1976 and 1980 Olympic gold medalist, and 3 time World Champion on the pommel horse.
  • Vera Caslavska (CZE)- Winner of 11 Olympic medals, including 7 gold, in the 1964 and 1968 Olympics.
  • Doug Wilson (USA) will be awarded the first Frank Bare Award for his significant contributions to popularizing gymnastics as an Emmy award-winning TV producer for ABC's Wide World of Sports.

Over the past fifteen years, 76 of gymnastics greatest stars and contributors, representing 20 countries, have been formally inducted into the Hall of Fame.

"We are thrilled with the selection of the Class of 2012, and we are especially excited to finally celebrate the induction of Vera Caslavska, who was not able to be with us when she was originally inducted in 1998," said Bart Conner, President of the IGHOF Board.

The International Gymnastics Hall of Fame continues to preserve, promote and share the achievements of our sport's greatest legends. Through the IGHOF exhibit at the Science Museum Oklahoma in the Adventure District in Oklahoma City, visitors can view the Wall of Fame - portraits of all inductees, and other sculptures, pictures, paintings and videos.  Children can also try out some gymnastics training equipment at the exhibit.

The International Gymnastics Hall of Fame is a dynamic, forward-looking organization that celebrates the athletic and artistic excellence of our sport's most accomplished athletes and legends, and connects them with future generations of young gymnasts and fans.

For tickets to the IGHOF ceremony, contact Lynn Landis, at Paul Ziert and
Associates at 405-364-5344.

For media requests, contact Alisha East,
at Alisha@bartconnergymnastics.com or 405-447-7500.

2011 – 15th Annual Induction Ceremony

OKLAHOMA CITY – Five international gymnastics legends were honored at the 15th annual International Gymnastics Hall of Fame Ceremony held on Saturday, May 14, 2011, at the Petroleum Club in Oklahoma City.

The Class of 2011 honorees include:

Over the past fourteen years, 73 of gymnastics greatest stars and contributors, representing 20 countries, have been formally inducted into the Hall of Fame. The IGHOF exhibit is located at Science Museum Oklahoma in the Adventure District in Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

"We are thrilled with the selection of the Class of 2011, and we are excited to celebrate the remarkable careers of these icons of our sport," commented Bart Conner, the President of the Board of the IGHOF. The board also paid tribute to Frank Bare, the former Chairman of the Board, who passed away this past year.

2010 - 14th Annual Induction Ceremony

INSPIRATION - The diverse Class of 2010 represents four decades of gymnastics history. Their stories are as different as the apparatus on which they made history. The four gymnasts honored at the 14th annual Induction Ceremony of the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame combined to win 35 world and Olympic medals. Yuri Korolev, Henrietta Onodi, Cathy Rigby (who was inducted in 1998 but could not attend that year) and the late Mikhail Voronin were the latest to join the growing list of legends in the Hall of Fame, while former FIG photographer Eileen Langsley received the AAI International Order of Merit. And as each was honored at the exclusive Petroleum Club in Oklahoma City on May 15, a common theme emerged. Yes, the emotional acceptance speeches transported the gathered guests back in time, but they also ushered them forward with a new sense of inspiration.

Officially inducted in 1998 but unable to attend because of her starring role in Peter Pan, Cathy Rigby closed the evening with the style and grace that defined her gymnastics.

"I'm so grateful to be here," said Rigby, 57, who then quipped, "I'm sorry it took me 12 years; I was stuck in that harness all that time."

Yes, before she was flying above stages as "the boy who never grew up," Rigby spoke of her unusual upbringing as a gymnast in Southern California. And like Onodi, Rigby remembered those who enabled her career, which included the first world championship medal by an American gymnast (silver on beam in 1970).
"It's really difficult to stand up here and thank all the people who have touched your life and helped you achieve certain goals, but I have to tell you that the last three days have been—(Rigby paused to collect her emotions)—extraordinary, because I've been away from the sport for a very long time. And part of that was because I wanted to get away at one point to kind of take on another identity and figure out who I was. I had an amazing time in the sport, and I will thank those people for that … it's like coming home to family. It's something I will cherish forever."

Rigby first thanked her husband, Tom McCoy, with whom she continues to work in entertainment. Then she recognized Frank Bare (first executive director of the U.S. Gymnastics Federation): "He was like a dad. He was just so wonderful…."
Next, Rigby offered telling vignettes of her late coach, Bud Marquette. "He was a pain in the you-know-what sometimes to deal with, but he gave his heart and soul to the sport of gymnastics and to me," she said.

Finally, Rigby spoke fondly of her mother. "She was an example of how to be and how to act and how to persevere," said Rigby, a mother of four and grandmother of three. "Whenever I would come home from a competition, my mom was just there. There was no judgment. It was just a hug and, 'Honey, how are you?' and 'Good job.' And I never realized how much that meant to me. So I am forever grateful to this amazing woman."

Rigby also said she was "so grateful and proud to be part of the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame," which now has 72 members representing 20 countries.
Before the inductees and gathered guests mingled for photo opportunities and autographs, emcee Bart Conner closed the evening with these fitting words: "Excellence to us is inspiring, and that's all we try to capture on this night."

Yet once again, the overall impact on those in attendance was so much more.

by Dwight Normile

 

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