2012 has been a great year for many young athletes hoping to accomplish the achievement of a lifetime – competing and medaling at the Olympic Games. One rising star is Jordyn Wieber, an artistic gymnast, who was part of the 2012 Team USA. She has gained recognition for her excellence in the sport and many all-around titles.
Jordyn Marie Wieber, known to friends as Jo, was born 12 July 1995 in DeWitt, Michigan, where she currently resides. Parents Rita and David Wieber encourage and expect great achievements from each of their children, and thus far each has had considerable success, especially Jordyn.
Began gymnastics around the age of 2-3
Jordyn’s elder sister is currently in medical school and both her younger brother and sister excel in sports (football and soccer respectively). Jordyn began gymnastics around the age of 2-3 when her parents noticed unusually strong balance and an intense focus in their toddler. By the age of four she was pursuing gymnastics more seriously and began competing several years later.
Since beginning training at a young age, Wieber has gone on to become the best gymnast in the country and among the top in the world. At the age of 17 Wieber has already achieved more success in athletics than professional athletes with much longer careers. Jordyn trains at Gedderts Twistars USA gym in Michigan under head coach John Geddert with assistant coach and choreographer Kathryn Geddert.
In 2009, Jordyn first rose to national prominence
Thus far, Wieber’s gymnastics career has been tremendously impressive and she seems to steadily improve year after year. In 2009, Jordyn first rose to national prominence when she placed first at the American Cup held in Chicago, Illinois. She placed first all around with a score of 60.200. In 2010, she competed with the American team in the Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships in Melbourne, Australia. She won first all-around with a score of 59.550 and was a significant asset to the American team’s first place victory at the competition. Later in the year Wieber competed at the Covergirl Classic held in Chicago, again winning first all-around with a score of 59.950.
2011 saw Jordyn Wieber build upon her success from the previous two years at an even more prolific level. She won her second American Cup competition. She placed first all-around with a score of 59.899 at the competition held in Jacksonville, Florida. Travelling to Italy, Wieber won second all-around at the City of Jesolo Trophy with a score of 57.700. At the Covergirl Classic in Chicago she failed to place overall, but won two first place awards for her performance on uneven parallel bars and balance beam.
At the Visa Championships in Saint Paul, Minnesota, Wieber placed first all-around with a two day combined score of 121.300. She also finished first on bars and floor with a third place award for beam. After the competition Jordyn remarked on her success and how it inspires her to continue to work even harder. She stated, “It feels really good. Just how aggressive and confident I was, I want to put that into my training.”
At the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Toyko, Japan, Jordyn went on to perform at a very high level. In most prestigious of competitions, Wieber placed first all-around with a score of 59.382 and contributed to an American team first place finish. In the individual event finals she placed third on beam, fourth on bars, and sixth on floor.
The success of 2011 resulted in Wieber being a finalist for the James E. Sullivan Award, given annually by the Amateur Athletic Union. Though she did not ultimately win the award (which went to football player Andrew Rodriguez), it was a great honor for Wieber to be nominated.
Jordyn has been even more successful in 2012 and rising to greater stardom. At the American Cup in New York City Wieber placed first all-around with a score of 61.320, and this marked her third top finish at the American Cup competition.
At the Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships held in Everett, Washington, she placed first all-around with a score of 61.050 and helped the American team finish first overall. In the event finals, Wieber additionally placed first on floor and sixth on beam.
At the Secret US Classic held in Chicago, Wieber failed to place in the all-around competition but was awarded first place on beam and eighth place on bars.
At the Visa Championship in St. Louis, Missouri, Jordyn again placed first all-around with a two day combined score of 121.900. In the event finals she placed second on floor and fifth on both bars and beam. In perhaps her most important competition yet, Jordyn performed very well at the Olympic Trials in San Jose, California. With a two day combined score of 123.350, Wieber placed second all-around. Additionally, she placed second on floor, third on beam, and fourth on bars in the event finals. Her stellar performance earned Jordyn a well-deserved place on the 2012 Olympic Team.
With a rise in fame and prominence, Wieber has been sought after for interviews and appearances around the country. In interviews she comes across as very professional and soft-spoken, which seems to distance her from the public. However, increased “behind-the-scenes” footage and more confidence on screen has allowed Wieber to show her personality, sense of humor, and family life, which has overall made her much more likeable and an even better role model for young girls.
Coach John Geddert has noted that for Wieber gymnastics is not necessarily about winning but rather about being the best she can be with her potential and hard work. This approach has undoubtedly contributed to the young gymnast’s success and continuing drive for improvement and even greater achievements.
Wieber has noted that in addition to her love of the sport, she enjoys the opportunities gymnastics has given her to travel internationally and meet new people. Even with the international success of her career to date, Jordyn and her family strive to maintain a sense of “normalcy” by encouraging social activities with friends and family and attending public school. Professional and focused in training and competition, Jordyn is still a teenage girl who enjoys being silly and harbors a crush on pop-singer Justin Bieber.
2012 Olympic Games in London
In the 2012 Olympic Games in London Wieber was part of Team USA along with Gabby Douglas, McKayla Maroney, Aly Raisman, and Kyla Ross. The United States won the women’s gymnastics team gold medal with the very strong performance, where all the girls performed on the highest level, decisively beating Russia 183.596 to 178.530.
This was the first U.S team gold medal in the womens’s gymnastics since 1996 and The Magnificent Seven.
After graduating from high school, Jordyn hopes to attend the University of California, Los Angeles. Despite her success, Jordyn maintains an air of mature humility knowing that there is always room to improve and a need to work hard. Though a gymnastics career is notoriously short-lived, Wieber’s personality and drive position her well to achieve great things in adulthood.
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