The Alternates

When a team is named for an upcoming competition, usually one or two gymnasts per team will be named team alternate. The alternate usually travels with the team to the meet, but is sometimes left home. Some are called into duty when a teammate is forced to withdraw, but usually the alternate sits by the sidelines.

At some competitions the alternates are awarded medals, at other competitions they are not considered members of the team (e.g., Olympic alternates are not recognized as Olympians by the IOC). Some go on to fulfill their dreams, making the lineup of future teams, but the careers of others more aptly fit the expression "always the bridesmaid, never the bride." 

This page, a work in progress, will first track those who served as team alternates.  Eventually some text will follow, outlining particular stories and controversies surrounding particular alternates. 

Jump to: Women Artistic | Men's Artistic | Rhythmic

Women's Artistic

1956 Olympics

Romania: Utta Schland-Porceanu

1968 Olympics

East Germany: Christine Schmitt

1970 Worlds

Soviet Union: Olga Korbut

1972 Olympics

Hungary: Agnes Banfai

1974 Worlds

East Germany: Marion Kische

1976 Olympics

Romania: Luminita Milea, Marilena Neascu
Soviet Union: Lydia Gorbik
USA: Jodi Yocum

1978 Worlds

USA: Merilyn Chapman
USSR: Elena Davydova

1979 Worlds

USSR: Natalia Yurchenko

1981 Euros

Naimushina (URS)

1980 Worlds

Svetlana Agapova (URS)

1980 Olympics

Soviet Union: Svetlana Agapova
Romania: Marilena Vladarau

1981 Worlds

Soviet Union: Tatiana Frolova

1983 Euros

Soviet Union: Olga Mostepanova

1983 Worlds

Soviet Union: Valentina Shkoda, Vera Kolesnikova
Romania: Cristina Grigoras
USA: Marie Roethlisberger

1984 Olympics

Romania: Camelia Rencius
USA: Marie Roethlisberger (1st alternate), Lucy Wener (2nd alternate)

1984 Olomouc

Soviet Union: Oksana Omelianchik

1985 Euros

East Germany: Ulrike Klotz
Romania: Lenuta Rus
Soviet Union: Irina Baraksanova

1985 Worlds
Romania: Dana Dumitru
Soviet Union: Angelika Schennikova 

1986 Junior Europeans

Soviet Union: Armine Barutyan

1987 Worlds

Soviet Union: Aleftina Pryakhina
Romania: Mirela Sidon

1988 Olympics

Bulgaria: Guergana Peeva
East Germany: Christiane Thoms
Soviet Union: Omelianchik 
Romania: Gabriela Gheorghe (1st alternate), Cristina Bontas (2nd alternate, non-travelling)
USA: Rhonda Faehn (1st alternate), Kristie Phillips (2nd alternate, non-travelling)

1989 European Championships

Soviet Union: Yulia Kut 

1989 Worlds

Romania: Maria Neculita
Soviet Union: Yulia Kut, Natalia Kalinina 
USA: Jenny Ester (1st alternate), Sheryl Dundas (2nd alternate)

1990 Commonwealth Games

Canada: Stella Umeh (Upgraded to competitive status when Monica Covacci blew her knee)

1990 Goodwill Games

Soviet Union: Natalia Laschenova, Tatiana Groshkova, Tatiana Gutsu
USA: Erica Stokes

1991 Worlds

Soviet Union: Yelena Grudneva
USA: Sandy Woolsey, Elizabeth Crandall

1992 Olympics

Canada: Natasha Hallett
Germany: Andrea Drissler
Hungary: Eszther Ovary
Romania: Eugenia Popa, Izabela Lacatus
Soviet Union: Ludmilla Stovbchataya
USA: Michelle Campi

1994 Goodwill Games

USA: Mina Kim

1995 Worlds

Canada: Marleen Lavoie
Romania: Ionela Loaies, Ana Maria Bican

1996 Olympics

Russia: Oksana Fabrichnova
Romania: Andreea Cacovean
Ukraine: Oksana Knizhnik (Upgraded to competitive status when Victoria Karpenko had to withdraw)
USA: Theresa Kulikowski

1998 Junior European Championships

Holland: Verona van de Leur, Gabrielle Wammes

1998 European Championships

Romania: Alexandra Dobrescu

1999 Pan Am Games:

Canada: Crystal Gilmore

1999 World Championships:

Canada: Amelie Plante
Romania: Andreea Ulmeanu
Russia: Ludmilla Yezhova

2000 Olympics

Canada: Crystal Gilmore (Upgraded to competitive status when Emilie Fournier broke her ankle)
Romania: Andreea Ulmeanu
Russia: Elena Dolgopolova
USA: Alyssa Beckerman, Tasha Schwikert (Upgraded to competitive status when Morgan White withdrew)

2001 World Championships

Canada: Breanne King
Romania: Monica Sabou
Russia: Anastasia Kolesnikova
USA: Natalie Foley, Brittney Koncack (Injured before Worlds and replaced with Dana Filetti)

2002 European Championships

Russia: Natalia Uchevatkina (seniors), Ekaterina Orlova (juniors)
Spain: Tania Gener (juniors; ended up competing with Melodie was injured)
Ukraine: Natalia Gorodny (seniors), Valeriya Maksyuta (juniors)

2002 Pacific Alliance Championships

Canada: Amanda Gering (juniors)
USA: Liz Tricase (seniors), Chellsie Memmel (juniors)

2002 Commonwealth Games

Canada: Jennifer Simbhudas
Great Britain: Ashtone Johnston

2003 Pan American Games

Brazil: Heine Araujo, Thais Silva, Merly de Jesus
Canada: Amelie Plante
USA: Tabitha Yim, Liz Tricase, Nicole Harris

2003 World Championships

Australia: Speculated to be Danielle Kelly, Belinda Archer or Stephanie Moorhouse but when Lisa Skinner injured herself in Anaheim the former three all got to compete
Brazil: Heine Araujo, Thais Silva, Merly de Jesus
Canada: Gael Mackie
China: Zhang Yufei
Czech Republic: Adela Pavoukova
Finland: Tiina Taavitsainen
France: Nelly Ramassamy
Great Britain: Helen Galashan, Melanie Roberts
Greece: Vassiliki Tsavdaridou
Italy: Daria Sarkosh
Japan: Miki Uemura
Romania: Dana Soforonie (1st), Silvia Stroescu (2nd)
Russia: Maria Kriushkova (1st; traveled), Polina Miller (2nd, non-traveling)
Slovakia: Adriana Hilmerova
South Africa: Celeste Visagie
Spain: Laura Campos
Ukraine: Inna Teslenko (did not travel)
USA: Terin Humphrey (competed after Hatch was injured during training), Samantha Sheehan (injured and replaced by Chellsie Memmel, Chellsie being called in to compete when Postell was pulled out with the flu)

2004 Olympics

Australia: Karen Nguyen (moved up to competitive status when Danielle Kelly tore calf muscle)
Canada: Marci Bernholtz
Romania: Silvia Stroescu (moved up to competitive status when Munteanu suffered shin splints), Florea Leonida
Spain: Laura Campos (moved up to competitive status when Lenika de Simone was diagnosed with a stress fracture in the femur)
USA: Chellsie Memmel, Tasha Schwikert, Allyse Ishino (alternates unranked)
Great Britain: Cherell Fennell (moved up to competitive status when Amy Dodsley's neck injury, suffered at the 2004 GBR-RUS, worsened)

2005 World Championships

Ukraine: Valeriya Maksyuta
USA: Kassi Price

2006 Junior Pan Am Games
USA: Ivana Hong

2007 Pan Am Games

USA: Bridget Sloan, Sarah DeMeo

2008 Olympics
Kristina Vaculik, Alyssa Brown
Raj Bhavsar (moved up when Paul Hamm withdrew), Sasha Artemev, David Durante
Jana Beiger, Ivana Hong, Corrie Lothrop

Men's Artistic

1970 Worlds

Soviet Union: Nikolai Andrianov

1976 Olympics

GDR: Ralph Barthel
URS: Aleksandr Tkachyov

1979 Europeans

DDR: Michael Nikolay
ROM: Sorin Cepoi
URS: Khishniakov, Krissin, and Anisimov 
FRA: Marc Touchais
HUN: Zoltan Kelemen

1980 Olympics

GDR: Maik Belle

1992 Olympics

USA: Lance Ringnald

1994 Goodwill Games

USA: Kip Simons

2003 World Championships

Canada: Casey Sandy

2004 Olympics
Belarus: ? (Moved up to competitive status when Alexander Svetlichny suffered a shoulder injury that needed surgery)
Canada: Nathan Gafuik
Russia: Dmitri Barkalov (moved up to competitive status when Yevgeny Podgorny injured)
Spain: Oriol Combarros (moved up to competitive status when Manuel Carballo injured his shoulder)

2006 World Championships:
AUS: Georgia Bonora, Shona Morgan
Canada: Grant Golding, Rebecca Simbhudas (moved up to competitive status when Gael Mackie withdrew)

2007 World Championships:
Canada: David Kikuchi
USA: David Sender (moved up to competitive status when Justin Spring injured). 2nd alt =
David Durante

2008 Olympics:
Canada: WAG: Kristina Vaculik (first), Alyssa Brown (second; upgraded to first alternate when Vaculik withdrew due to injury), MAG: Ken Ikeda
Great Britain: Imogen Cairns (upgraded to team when Laura Jones withdrew due to injury)
Ukraine: Olga Scherbatykh (WAG), Andrei Isayev (MAG)
2009 Europeans:
UKR: Daria Zgoba


1982 European Championships

Soviet Union: Galina Beloglazova


Banner designed by GymnDesign with photographs by Tom Theobald


Disclaimer. The information contained within these pages is compiled from personal interviews, Web sites, magazines, newsgroups, message boards, home video and/or television coverage. Where applicable, sources are cited and links provided. All information is accurate (though not necessarily the most up-to-date) to the best of my knowledge, however should you read something that you believe to be incorrect, please me and I will make the correction as soon as possible. If any information or photos appearing on these pages are copyright of another site, person, or company, i.e., the permission that I have to use this media is invalid and was wrongly given in the first place by those who gave me the media please email me so that I can give proper credit for the media or delete them if preferred. I do not accept liability to any persons for the information or advice provided in this Web site or incorporated into it by reference or for loss or damages incurred as a result of reliance upon the material contained in this Web site.