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Favorite Routines: Shannon Miller's Balance Beam Gold

In this edition of Favorite Routines, I'm featuring America's most decorated gymnast and one of my childhood idols, Shannon Miller.

At the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, the United States women's gymnastics team had won their first ever team gold medal.

Shannon, America's most decorated gymnast already had a World Championship gold medal on this event and an Olympic Silver medal from Barcelona. Shannon had a disappointing finish in the all-around final, finishing 8th after qualifying in second place. Shannon, always the professional, kept her chin up and moved to the event finals. She went up and performed an impeccable routine, no toe left un-pointed, no balance checks, not even a hair out of place on her head, every element flawlessly connected down to the stuck landing on her dismount.

Shannon took home the gold medal for that event, making her the first American to win the balance beam gold and the first american woman to win an individual Olympic Gold in a non-boycotted games.* Here is Shannon's gold medal winning routine from the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta.

*Historical Note: The Soviet Union boycotted the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles, officially citing lack of security for their Athletes. It was a response to the US boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. Then US President Jimmy Carter issued the boycott as a protest of the Soviet Union invasion of  Afghanistan.

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