Rhonda Faehn (USA)    

Photo used with the expressed 
permission of Dave Black

1983 US Classic (Juniors: under 14 division): 19th AA
1985 US Junior National Championships: 5th AA
1985 US Classic: 5th AA, 1st V, 3rd UB
1985 France vs. USA: 4th AA
1986 American Classic: 9th AA, 6th UB
1986 US National Championships: 12th
1986 City of Popes: 2nd AA, 1st V, 1st UB, 3rd BB
1987 US Classic: 3rd AA
1987 Pan American Games: 1st T, 8th AA, 4th V
1987 World Championships: 6th T, 19th AA
1988 US Olympic Trials: 7th AA
1988 US National Championships: 6th AA, 1st V
1988 Mardi Gras Invitational: 2nd UB
1988 Olympic Games: 4th T (team alternate)

The majority of these results were compiled from information found within 1988 U.S. Nationals program

Rhonda Faehn, member of the inaugural class ('99) of the Minnesota Gymnastics Hall of Fame!

Faehn emerged as a strong contender for the 1988 US Olympic Team in 1987, finishing as the top-ranked American in the All-Around (19th AA) at World Championships. In 1988, Faehn earned perfect 10's at both the U.S. Nationals and U.S. Olympic Trials in vault and was the 1988 US National Champion on vault. She finished "only" seventh at the U.S. Olympic trials however, only spot short of a competitive spot on the U.S. Olympic team.

The traveling alternate to Seoul, Faehn helped out the team whenever possible on and off the competitive floor. Sadly, Faehn found herself in the middle of politics during the women's team competition. She was up on the podium helping fellow teammate Kelly Garrison (formerly Garrison-Steves) prepare for her uneven bars routine. After Garrison mounted the apparatus, Faehn removed the spring board. Not wanting to disturb Garrison, she remained on the podium, crouched down low. An East German noticed and called attention to this, pointing to an obscure rule in the Code of Points which disallows coaches to remain on the podium. 

Although Faehn was not a coach, the presiding head judge on the panel (Ellen Berger, an East German) penalized the Americans 0.5 of a point. At the end of the night, the Americans lost the team bronze medal to the East Germans by 0.3. Faehn is certainly not to blame for this deduction. The real wrongdoing is in the misapplication of this rule. Nothing could be further from the Olympic spirit than the invoking of this rule.

Photo courtesy of the University of Florida

Since the completion of her elite gymnastics career, Faehn has found continued success in the sport of gymnastics. She competed NCAA while attending UCLA (she graduated in 1994 with a B.A. in History), and went on to pursue what has become a decorated coaching career. 

Faehn won the 1998 SE and NE Region Assistant Coach of the Year by the National Association of Collegiate Gymnastics Coaches for Women while serving as the assistant coach of the University of Maryland's women's gymnastics team. Prior to her work with Maryland, Faehn assisted the women's gymnastics program at UCLA for two years and served as head coach of Lanco Gymnastics Training Center in Lancaster, PA.

Faehn eventually moved to Lincoln to serve as assistant coach at the University of Nebraska. The primary beam coach, in her first season with the Nebraska Cornhuskers the girls secured their best regional qualifying score on beam in history, 49.025.  They finished the season with a sixth place national team ranking on beam (and fourth place ranking overall). Moreover, Nebraska's Heather Brink became the NCAA all-around champion.

Faehn is now the head coach of the Florida Gators, her first season in 2002-2003. She has received coaching honors in three of her four seasons with the Gators (2006 Southeastern Conference Coach of the Year, 2005 NACGC Southeast Region Coach of the Year, 2003 NACGC Southeast Region Co-Coach of the Year). The Gators have advanced to the NCAA Championships each of her four seasons with the program, and enjoyed their highest finish in 2006, placing fourth at the NCAA Nationals.

Faehn married a second time in June 2006, to Jeremy Bayon. (Her first marriage was to Craig Tetreault). The couple are expecting their first baby in late 2007/early 2008.
. This page was created on February 7, 1999 and last updated November 2007.

 

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