Jamie Dantzscher: Mormon Athlete
Jamie Annette Dantzscher was a member of the US women’s gymnastic team that took bronze at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney, Australia. At the time of the Olympics, however, the team placed fourth behind China, but in 2010, the International Olympic Committee stripped the Chinese team of its medal and awarded it to the US team when they learned the Chinese team had falsified the age of one of its members.
Dantzscher was outspoken about the policies of the US team coordinator, Bela Karolyi. For example, Karolyi decided to sit Dantzscher out on two of the apparatus routines during the Olympic team competition. Her opinions about his decisions and policies were corroborated by teammates and their coaches.
Also during those Games, her father and one of her sisters were injured in a taxi cab accident that left her father hospitalized in Sydney with serious injuries.
Dantzscher was born on May 2, 1982, in Canoga Park, California. Her father moved to the family to San Dimas so she could have the best gymnastics training. She was a member of the US National Gymnastics team for eight years. She won the all-around and floor exercise titles in her first international competition, the 1996 City of Popes in France. She was too young to make the US team for the 1997 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships. She did make the team for the 1999 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships and placed sixth with the team.
After the 2000 Olympics, Dantzscher joined the UCLA Bruins gymnastic team. While with the Bruins, she achieved twenty-eight perfect 10 scores that set a school record. She had also achieved All-American honors fifteen times, earned three Pac-10 individual titles, and was on three first-place NCAA Championship teams.
She went on to coach at three California gyms and was an assistant coach for Arizona State during the 2008–2009 season. She was inducted into the UCLA Athletics Hall of Fame in 2016.
She is a member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.