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I Have Cool Friends

Oct 10, 2018

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.

Full show notes: