5 Things to Know About Jaycie Phelps

The 1996 Olympic gymnast

Olympic gymnast Jaycie Phelps at the 1996 Olympic Trials
Jaycie Phelps at the 1996 Olympic Trials. © Doug Pensinger / Getty Images

Jaycie Phelps was a member of the Magnificent Seven -- the 1996 Olympic team that won gold in women's gymnastics. She was also on two world teams and was the runner-up to Shannon Miller at the 1996 US nationals.

Giving it One More Chance

Phelps was a talented junior gymnast but was ready to quit the sport in 1993, after a frustrating national championship in which she placed 24th all-around. After the meet, her parents urged her to try one more gym. She went to Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy and thrived. In just one year, she jumped from 24th place as a junior, to sixth as a senior. Watch Jaycie Phelps on bars in 1993 vs. Jaycie Phelps on bars in 1994.

Becoming an Olympic Gold Medalist with the Magnificent Seven

Phelps placed second at the 1996 US nationals and third overall after the Olympic Trials, where she had a fall on beam. She easily made the Olympic squad (the top 7 overall in the rankings) and played an invaluable lead-off role for the team in finals. She was the first US athlete to compete on bars and stuck her double front-half dismount, earning a 9.787 to start the American team's competition off well. She was first up on floor and vault as well and hit both events solidly (9.750 and 9.662, respectively). Watch Jaycie Phelps on bars.

The Phelps Vault

Jaycie Phelps is well-known for the vault named after her: A Tsukahara to a layout Arabian front off. In the late '90s, this was one of the most popular vaults being performed. It was notable, also, because few, if any, gymnasts could do it as the Code of Points described, with a half twist before the layout front. Most, including Phelps herself, twisted late, making it easier to stay in the layout position. Watch the Phelps vault.

A Quick Comeback

Phelps retired after the 1996 Olympics, citing her chronic bad knee, which had required several surgeries. In 1999 she made a brief comeback and competed in the 2000 US Classic and some of the 2000 US nationals. Her knee became a problem again, though, and she retired from the sport for good. Watch Jaycie Phelps on floor at the 2000 US nationals.

Personal Life

Jaycie Phelps was born September 26, 1979, in Indianapolis, Indiana. She's named for her parents, Jack and Cheryl Phelps.

Phelps trained from 1994-1996 under coach Mary Lee Tracy at Cincinnati Gymnastics. Olympic teammate Amanda Borden trained at CGA as well, and the two were good friends.

Phelps now owns Jaycie Phelps Athletic Center, a gymnastics, cheerleading, baseball, and softball sports complex in the Indianapolis area. The facility, called (JPAC) opened in 2010. Phelps coaches gymnastics there as well.

Gymnastics Results


  • 1996 Olympics: 1st team
  • 1996 Individual Event World Championships: 8th bars; 7th beam
  • 1996 Budget Rent a Car Gymnastics Invitational USA vs. France: 1st team
  • 1995 World Championships: 3rd team; 7th bars
  • 1995 International Mixed Pairs: 9th all-around (with partner Josh Stein)
  • 1995 McDonald's American Cup: 12th all-around (prelims.); 3rd bars (tie)
  • 1995 Reese's International Gymnastics Cup: 7th beam
  • 1994 Team World Championships, Dortmund, Germany: 2nd team


  • 2000 US Classic: 14th all-around
  • 1996 US Olympic Trials: 3rd all-around
  • 1996 Coca-Cola National Championships: 2nd all-around
  • 1996 American Classic/World Championships Trials: 1st all-around
  • 1995 Coca-Cola National Championships: 3rd all-around; 5th vault; 4th bars (tie); 6th floor
  • 1995 US Classic: 1st all-around; 2nd vault; 1st bars; 1st beam; 1st floor
  • 1995 American Classic/Pan American Games Trials: 8th all-around; 3rd bars (tie); 6th beam
  • 1994 NationsBank World Team Trials: 5th all-around
  • 1994 Coca-Cola National Championships: 6th all-around; 5th bars; 5th beam; 5th floor
  • 1994 US Classic: 3rd all-around
  • 1994 US Olympic Festival: 3rd all-around; 4th team; 5th beam; 6th floor
  • 1994 American Classic/World Championships Trials: 15th all-around (tie)
  • 1993 Coca-Cola National Championships (Junior Division): 24th all-around
  • 1993 US Classic (Junior Division): 15th all-around