Transparency and the Future of USA Gymnastics with Chellsie Memmel – Bonus Episode 2

The Recap

Sam welcomes to the podcast close friend and former 2008 Olympic teammate, Chellsie Memmel. Chellsie’s gymnastics accomplishments include being the 2003 world champion on the uneven bars and the 2005 world all-around champion; just the third American woman in history to win that title. She has seven World Championship and Olympic medals and is tied with Shawn Johnson as the seventh most decorated US female gymnast. She is so skilled at gymnastics that she even has a floor exercise move named after her, the Memmel Turn. Since retiring from gymnastics, Chellsie has continued to support and promote the sport of gymnastics as a coach, judge, and advocate.

In this episode, Sam and Chellsie recall early memories of their friendship. They talk about the controversial 2008 Olympic selection process and how it made them feel. Chellsie chronicles her injury history and the emotional and physical toll the recovery and training process took on her. They discuss the peaks and valleys they encountered along the way to becoming Olympic medalists, including meeting Michael Phelps! Sam and Chellsie have a meaningful and reflective conversation on the state of gymnastics and the actions they believe need to be taken by the governing body of USA Gymnastics to address these issues. Finally, Chellsie discusses the fulfillment and joy she gets out of coaching gymnastics and shares her biggest life lesson she learned as an athlete.

Episode Highlights

  • 01:44 – Sam welcomes Chellsie to the podcast
  • 02:54 – Sam and Chellsie recall early memories of their friendship
  • 05:34 – Chellsie’s gymnastics beginnings
  • 07:51 – The moment Chellsie knew she wanted to go to the Olympics
  • 11:14 – The emotions Chellsie felt after being named an alternate for the 2004 Olympic team
  • 14:33 – What motivated Chellsie to train, condition, and return from her injury
  • 15:23 – Chellsie answers a fan question
  • 17:09 – Chellsie details the training plan that helped her return from injury
  • 19:55 – Chellsie chronicles the 2008 Olympic selection process
  • 22:21 – How the Olympic selection process differed from 2004 to 2008
  • 26:17 – Chellsie describes her Olympic village experience
  • 27:41 – Peaks and valleys from the 2008 Olympics
  • 29:25 – Chellsie sums up each of her 2008 Olympic teammates in one word
  • 30:38 – More fan questions answered by Chellsie
  • 32:54 – Chellsie’s favorite part about remaining part of the gymnastics world
  • 34:52 – The state of U.S. women’s gymnastics
  • 38:17 – Chellsie elaborates on the selection process for the CEO of USA Gymnastics
  • 41:16 – Why smart decision-making and advocating for positive change are key to altering the culture of gymnastics
  • 43:30 – Sam and Chellsie speak out about the lack of resources given to the U.S. women’s national gymnastics team
  • 45:12 – Sam recalls the time she met former CEO of USA Gymnastics, Kerry Perry
  • 46:53 – Chellsie describes the characteristics she would like to see in the new CEO
  • 49:50 – Accomplishments Chellsie hopes to see from the governing body of gymnastics by the 2020 Olympics
  • 52:50 – How gymnastics prepared Chellsie to be a wife and mother
  • 54:18 – Chellsie’s work/life balance
  • 57:29 – The biggest life lesson Chellsie learned as an athlete
  • 58:06 – Chellsie reveals one thing people can do to get 1% better each day
  • 58:41 – Where fans can follow Chellsie

Tweetable Quotes

Links Mentioned

Destira: Gymnastics Leotards & Accessories

Tumbl Trak: Gymnastic, Cheer, Dance, Martial Arts and Special Needs Equipment

Chellsie’s Instagram

Chellsie’s Twitter

Chellsie’s Facebook

Connect with Sam

Sam on Instagram

BeamQueenBootcamp on Instagram

Sam on Twitter

Sam on Facebook

Podcast production and marketing provided by Fullcast.

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