Sunja Knapp (USA)

Photo courtesy of Sunja Knapp, 
from USGF

1985 South African Cup: 1st AA
1985 US Jr. Nationals: 2nd AA, 1st UB
1985 American Classic: 1st AA, 1st UB, 1st FX, 2nd V, 5th BB
1985 US Classic: 2nd AA
1986 US Classic: 7th AA
1986 Camelia Gymfest: 2nd AA
1986 US Jr. Championships: 9th AA
1986 Fiesta Bowl: 3rd AA
1987 American Classic: 25th AA
1987 US Classic: 4th AA, 3rd BB, 2nd FX
1987 Fiesta Bowl: 3rd AA
1987 Catania Cup: 3rd V
1987 Almaden Gym Festival: 1st AA
1987 US Nationals: 19th AA, 4th FX (tie)
1987 US Olympic Sports Festival 3rd AA, 3rd BB, 6th FX
1988 Mardi Gras Invitational: 3rd AA, 2nd V, 3rd BB, 3rd FX
1988 American Classic: 46th AA
1988 World Sports Fair 

Results courtesy of Sunja Knapp and 1988 US Nationals programme

Photo courtesy of Sunja Knapp

Originally from Pottstown, Pennsylvania, Sunja began gymnastics at the age of 7. She started out a small gym, Coventry, but was quickly recruited to Berks Gymnastics Academy to train under Tom McCarthy. Sunja thrived at Berks, emerging as one of the most promising US junior gymnasts. During this time, she also modeled for GK-Elite Sportwear catalogues and posters, an activity she took part in from 1984-1988.

Unfortunately, Sunja's successful career as a junior gymnast did not translate into a successful career as a senior gymnast. While she did a spot on the 1987 US Senior National team, a combination of injuries and scares prevented Sunja from performing at her best. Like Sabrina Mar, Sunja suffered from spondylolysthesis (stress fractures in the back). As though that were debilitating enough, shortly before the 1988 US Olympic trials she blew her knee. In terms of scares, Sunja was the unwelcomed spectator of Julissa Gomez' fatal vault at the 1988 World Sports Fair.

Sunja retired from elite competition soon after her unsuccessful attempt at making the 1988 US Olympic team. Thinking she might like to try for a college scholarship, Sunja spent some time rehabilitating at Central Bucks in Philadelphia. Once rehabilitated she returned to Berks to train. Shortly thereafter, in 1990, she blew her other knee. For the next three summers (1991-1993) Sunja coached beginners and taught dance classes at Woodward Camp.

Sunja poses for the camera in 2004. 
Photo courtesy of Sunja Knapp.

Although several college coaches expressed interest in her joining their teams, Sunja decided to pursue college without doing NCAA. She enrolled at Temple University and in her senior year, was the manager of their men's gymnastics team. That same year she was part of the staff for the 1996 NCAA Men's Gymnastics Championships.

Sunja graduated from Temple University in 1996 with a degree in Radio-TV-Film. She moved to Los Angeles and worked on the kids' show Rugrats before accepting a position as Manager of Productions for Sunwoo Entertainment. Sunja left Sunwoo in 2003, and is now a personal manager for two television producers and one celebrity. She continues to write screenplays on the side.

Although not married, Sunja is dating. She loves Los Angeles and enjoys hiking, going to the beach, and "watching lots and lots of movies!"

. This page was created November 16, 1999 and last updated May 5, 2004.

 

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