Gymnast: Jennie Thompson

Jennie Thompson
Jennie Thompson. © Gary Newkirk / Allsport / Getty Images

Jennie Thompson was the 1999 American Cup champion, a two-time world team member, and the 1992 Pan American Games champion as a junior gymnast.

An Uber-Talented Junior:

Thompson was billed as a rising star when she won the 1991 American Classic at only 10 years old. One year later, she placed seventh all-around at the 1992 US junior nationals as and won the all-around and ​beam at the 1992 Junior Pan American Games.

Thompson continued to be a junior prodigy, winning the all-around at the 1993 US nationals, and competing in the senior nationals in 1994, at only 13, and placing fourth all-around.

Cool Skills:

Thompson competed a standing back full and tucked full-in dismount on beam. On floor, she performed two whip backs to a triple twist as a 13-year-old.

Injury and Olympics:

Thompson was injured for most of 1995, but returned in 1996 to win the US Classic and place eighth all-around at US nationals, qualifying her to compete at the 1996 Olympic Trials. Seven gymnasts made the team in 1996, so Thompson had a strong shot at being one of them, but a fall on uneven bars both days left her in ninth all-around, and off the 1996 Olympic team.


Thompson continued after 1996, qualifying to the world teams in 1997 and 1999 (no worlds was held in 1998), and becoming a consistent leader for the US team. She was fourth all-around at the 1998 US nationals and third in 1999, meaning a spot on the six-woman Olympic team in 2000 was very possible. Thompson also won the 1999 American Cup, an accomplishment she later said was one of the highlights of her career.

But ankle injuries and subsequent surgeries in 1999 forced Thompson to retire prematurely, before 2000, and an Olympic berth was not to be.

Gymnastics Results:


  • 1999 World Championships, Tianjin, China; 6th-team
  • 1999 Pan American Games, Winnipeg, Canada; 3rd-AA, 2nd-Team
  • 1999 Pontiac International Team Championships, Richmond, Va.; 2nd-Sr. team
  • 1999 Visa American Cup, St. Petersburg, Fla.; 1st-AA, 1st-UB
  • 1998 China Cup, Tianjin, CHN; 7th-team, 20th-AA
  • 1997 World Gymnastics Championships, Lausanne, SUI; 6th-Team
  • 1996 Budget Rent a Car Gymnastics Invitational USA vs. FRA, Miami, Fla.; 1st-Team
  • 1994 Goodwill Games, St. Petersburg, RUS; 4th-Team
  • 1994 McDonald's American Cup, Orlando, Fla.; 7th-AA (prelims)
  • 1993 Junior Pacific Alliance, Canberra, AUS; 2nd-Team, 3rd-AA, 1st-BB & FX
  • 1992 Jr. Pan American Games, San Paulo, BRA; 1st-AA & Team & BB, 2nd-UB & FX
  • 1991 Copa Elite Monterrey, MEX; 1st-AA, BB & UB


  • 1999 World Team Trials, Kansas City, Mo.
  • 1999 John Hancock U.S. Gymnastics Championships, Sacramento, Calif.; 3rd-AA, 1st-UB, 3rd-BB
  • 1999 American Classic/Pan Am Trials, Pomona, Calif.; 2nd-AA
  • 1998 John Hancock U.S. Gymnastics Championships, Indianapolis; 4th-AA, 3rd-V, 5th-UB, 11th-BB, T8th-FX
  • 1998 U.S. Classic, San Antonio, Texas; 1st-AA, 1st-V, 5th-UB, 1st-BB, 1st-FX
  • 1998 American Classic, Orlando, Fla.; 34th-AA, T12th-V, 8th-UB, 15th-BB, 35th-FX (injured during FX)
  • 1997 John Hancock U.S. Gymnastics Championships, Denver, Colo.; 7th-AA, 11th-V, T11th-UB, T15th-BB, 12th-FX
  • 1996 U.S. Olympic Trials-Gymnastics, Boston, Mass.; 9th-AA
  • 1996 Coca-Cola National Championships, Knoxville, Tenn.; 8th-AA, 6th-UB, 6th-BB, 3rd-FX
  • 1996 U.S. Classic, Colorado Springs, Colo.; 1st-AA, 1st-V, 3rd-UB, 1st-BB, 1st-FX
  • 1996 American Classic/World Championships Trials, Tulsa, Okla.; 5th-AA
  • 1994 Coca-Cola National Championships, Nashville, Tenn.; 4th-AA & FX, 3rd-BB
  • 1994 American Classic/World Championships Trials, Orlando, Fla.; 5th-AA
  • 1993 Coca-Cola National Championships, Salt Lake City, Utah; 1st-AA (Jr. Div.)
  • 1993 U.S. Olympic Festival, San Antonio, Texas; T7th-AA, 1st-Team
  • 1993 American Classic, Murray, Utah; 3rd-AA, 2nd-FX, 4th-UB, T5th-BB, 11th-V (Jr. Div.)
  • 1992 U.S. Gymnastics Championships, Columbus, Ohio; 7th-AA, T1st-FX (Jr. Div.)
  • 1992 U.S. Classic; Knoxville, Tenn.; 4th-AA, 1st-FX & BB, 3rd-BB
  • 1991 American Classic, Salt Lake City, Utah; 1st-AA & BB & UB, 2nd-FX, 3rd-V (Jr.-B Div.)
  • 1991 Level 9 Western Nationals, Santa Barbara, Calif.; 5th-AA, 1st-BB