Role models come and go, but some leave a legacy that bridges generations. According to the coaches at North Carolina’s Everest Gymnastics, Shannon Miller is one of these. Here, we’ll learn a bit about this 1996 Olympic Champion.
Q: Who’s Shannon Miller?
Everest Gymnastics: Shannon Miller was a member of the US Women’s Gymnastics Team that, in 1996, garnered the appropriate nickname of the Magnificent Seven. She is notable as both a team member and an individual athlete. She is today considered a legend in the sport and currently holds more medals than any other US athlete before or since.
Q: What was Shannon Miller’s athletic career like before the Olympics?
Everest Gymnastics: Miller was an accomplished athlete well before she ever donned the red, white, and blue leotard. Before the Olympics, she had actually participated in the 1992 Olympic Games in Spain. There, she won five medals. Miller, however, had previously earned dozens of competition medals. Before the 1996 games, Shannon already held five Olympic medals — at the time, that was more than any single athlete in any Olympic event.
Q: How many total medals does Shannon Miller have?
Everest Gymnastics: Honestly, that’s really hard to say, but she has at least 125 Olympic, world championship, and national and international competition medals. She no doubt has many more from smaller competitions at the local and regional level. Of her professional career awards, more than half of the medals Miller has received are gold.
Q: Is Shannon Miller still active in athletics?
Everest Gymnastics: Miller has long retired from the Olympic spotlight. After the 1996 games, she settled in with her husband to start a family. Sadly, Miller was diagnosed with a cancer known as germ cell malignancy, which affected her ovaries. Just like she did on the mat, Miller fought cancer and, if awards were given for going into remission, Shannon would have a gold here, too. Today, she is cancer-free and travels the country speaking about fitness. She also has her own brand, Shannon Miller Lifestyle: Health & Fitness for Women.