Whatever Happened to
Peter Vidmar?

Vidmar's Competitive Results:

1978 U. S. Nationals: 13th AA
1979 U. S. Nationals: 13th AA, 4th PH
1979 U. S. World Team Trials
1979 World Championships: 3rd T
1980 U. S. Nationals: 1st AA, 2nd PH, 2nd R, 3rd V, 4th PB, 2nd HB
1980 U. S. Olympic Trials: 3rd AA
1981 Muni-81: 16th AA
1981 Champions All: 1st AA
1981 World Championships: 5th T, 13th AA
1982 American Cup: 2nd AA
1982 U. S. Nationals: 1st AA, 8th FX, 6th PH, 1st R, 8th V, 1st PB, 2nd HB
1982 World Cup: 14th AA, 6th PH, 3rd HB

1982 USA v. USSR Dual Meet: 1st T, 4th AA
1982 Chunichi Cup: 4th AA
1983 American Cup: 1st AA
1983 USA v. USSR Dual Meet: 2nd T, 1st AA
1983 U. S. Nationals: 2nd AA, 5th R, 2nd PB
1983 World Championships: 4th T, 9th AA, 8th HB
1983 Chunichi Cup: 5th AA
1984 American Cup: 1st AA
1984 U. S. Nationals: 2nd AA, 1st FX, 2nd PH, 2nd R, 7th V, 1st PB, 1st HB
1984 U. S. Olympic Trials: 1st AA
1984 Olympics: 1st T, 2nd AA, 7th FX, 1st PH, 4th R, 4th HB

The majority of these results were compiled from information found at Gymn Forum

Tribute courtesy of Annerin Long.

An American gymnast who made an impact on the international scene, Peter Vidmar continues today to make an impact on the lives of many around the world, from children to high-level business executives.

Coached by Makoto Sakamoto, Peter was trained in an "experimental gymnastics program designed to develop future Olympic champions." Part of the program included limited exposure to competition as a junior. In 1978, at the age of 17, he competed in the U. S. Nationals, placing what many would consider an unlucky thirteenth. Actually, this wasnít a bad showing for a newcomer at a time when the American men were quickly moving into the leading ranks in world competition. 

Peter's 13th place finish actually earned him a position on the national team, however he and his coach declined the berth. As Peter told IG magazine, "I had agreed with Mako that if I made the team, I would decline so that I could focus more on skill development as opposed to routines...Mako's focus was always on doing well in international competition, and my skill level wasn't ready for that."

The following year, Peter once again placed thirteenth at Nationals. Hard work qualified him the World Championship Team later that year. The World Championships of 1979 proved historic in many respects: they were the first worlds held in the United States (Fort Worth, Texas); it was the first year for Worlds to be held in alternating years (rather than every four years; China rejoined major international competition; and the Soviet men and Romanian women broke long traditions by each winning their first team titles. Not least for the U. S. program, the American men won the team bronze medal, beating the traditional third place finishers East Germany.

Vidmar jumped from rookie national team member in 1979 to national champion in 1980, his first of two national titles (the other came in 1982). The following two years, 1983 and 1984, saw him finishing second behind Mitch Gaylord. In 1983, he added the NCAA All Around title, competing for UCLA. He qualified for the U. S. Olympic team in 1980, but was kept from the competition by the boycott.

Peter was among the first Americans to make a mark on the international scene. Gradually moving up over the years (thirteenth at 1981 Worlds; ninth in 1983), Vidmar had several opportunities to compete against leading Soviet and Japanese gymnasts of the 80s. On at least three occasions (1982 and 1983 USA/USSR Dual Meets and 1983 American Cup) finishing ahead of a young future Olympic champion, Vladimir Artemov. In fact, at the 1983 USA/USSR competition, which Vidmar won, all but one member of the Soviet team was a past or future world or Olympic all around medallist.

In 1984, Peter finally had his Olympic opportunity. While these Games were also marred by boycott, there is no denying that Vidmar had a place in the top echelon of gymnastics. Competing in front of a home crowd, and with an experienced team, the United States edged the reigning world champion Chinese for the team gold medal. "I won with five great guys. We lived a dream together, and our friendship will never be broken," Peter told IG magazine

Leading the way in the preliminary competition was Peter, the team captain. In the All Around competition, he won the silver medal behind Koji Gushiken of Japan, and capped his career with a gold on the pommel horse. He was also among many gymnasts to receive a 10.00 (on pommel horse in compulsories and high bar in all around).

While pommel horse was generally considered Vidmarís strong event, a look at his results show that he really didnít have a weak event. He was also known for his clean presentation in his gymnastics.

Today Peter keeps a busy schedule, between his family and public engagements. He is married to Donna, also a former gymnast, and they have five children, two of whom compete in gymnastics. Peter is a much-sought-after speaker, and incorporates the old judging standards of Risk, Originality, and Virtuosity into his unique and powerful presentations. Public appearances often include a gymnastics demonstration. He is an inductee of both the USOC Olympic Hall of Fame and the International Gymnast Hall of Fame. 

Update (December 4, 2000). The United States Olympic Committee (USOC) is sponsoring a new summit for summer Olympic sports. Peter Vidmar will serve as one of the three chairs of this new summit. According to the USOC press release, "the purpose of the summit is to bring together a special cross-sport team of high performing athletes to share a vision of excellence at the Olympic Games in 2004 and serve as a motivating support system for one another."

For more information about Peter Vidmar, please visit http://www.vidmar.com

© 2000-2002. This page was created on January 1, 2000 and last updated on October 14, 2001.


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