Sabrina Mar (USA)

Photo by Tom Theobald.
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1984 Pacific Alliance: 2nd AA, 1st V, 1st UB
1985 American Cup: 4th AA (prelims)
1985 US Nationals: 1st AA, 3rd V, 1st UB, 3rd BB, 1st FX
1985 USA vs CHN: 3rd AA
1985 World Championships: 6th T, 14th AA, 6th V (tie)
1986 USA vs USSR: 2nd T, 9th AA (tie)
1986 American Cup: 6th AA, 1st BB
1986 American Classic: 3rd AA
1986 US Nationals: 11th AA
1987 World Championships: 6th T, 21st AA (tie), 8th FX
1987 Pan Am Games: 1st AA plus three EF gold medals
1988 USA vs USSR: 2nd T, 3rd AA (tie)

Following each Olympic Games, many gymnasts retire, opening the door for a new generation of gymnasts to enjoy success. Following the 1984 Los Angeles Olympics, Sabrina Mar seized the opportunity, earning five medals (three of them gold) at the 1985 US National Championships.

Sabrina's success continued: She qualified to an event final at both the 1985 and 1987 World Championships, enjoyed a near sweep of the medals at the 1987 Pan Am Games, and tied for third place at the 1988 USA vs USSR dual meet (placing ahead of Soviet Olympians Elena Shevchenko and Natalia Laschenova). It was largely taken for granted that she would be on the 1988 Olympic team.

The 1988 US women's Olympic gymnastics team was determined by weighting gymnasts performances at that year's National Championships, with those at the 1988 Olympic Trials. Sabrina should have had no troubles making the team, but then, at the worst possible moment, she was sidelined with back problems. She was successfully petitioned to the trials, but at the trials her sore back prevented her from competing her optional routines.

Sabrina eventually enrolled in pre-medicine at UCLA. Unlike many former gymnasts though, she did not compete NCAA. At age 10, Sabrina accepted a part as one of the dancing orphans in the movie Annie. Her movie earnings were placed into savings, the earnings later providing for her university education.

Sabrina's experience with back problems prompted her to concentrate her studies on physiology, and while at UCLA she completed a research article on the effects of sport on the athlete's back. She presented this paper at the 1992 USGF (United States Gymnastics Federation) Congress. Sabrina's name later appeared as one of four authors on a second article (entitled Factors associated with wrist pain in the young gymnast) published in the American Journal of Sports Medicine.

During her time at UCLA, Sabrina was a member of the Chi Alpha Delta sorority. She also worked in UCLA's Athletic Department as an athletic trainer for football and basketball. Sabrina graduated from UCLA in 1993 with a Bachelor of Science in Physiological Science. She became a certified athletic trainer in 1995, certification she had kept current despite changing careers. In 1996, Sabrina went back to school to study animation, and from 1997-2002 she worked on the highly successful show South Park. She now works at the Fine Living Network, a new network that is currently only available on DirecTV. 

Sabrina and husband Dennis (married in 2000) enjoy an active lifestyle, sharing a passion for snowboarding, surfing (a sport she picked up while attending UCLA), and ice hockey. Sabrina's passion for ice hockey is more than just a hobby - she plays in a competitive league and her team, the Red Wings, have won the league championships three years in a row!

The couple have two children, Noah (b. 2001) and Tatum (b. 2009). 

Sabrina and Dennis visit Legoland in 1999. Photo courtesy of Sabrina Mar
Dennis and Sabrina in Jackson Hole, December 1998 Snowboarding Vacation.  Photo courtesy of Sabrina Mar

Check out the May/June 2003 issue of Inside Gymnastics for a "Now & Then" feature on Sabrina Mar!

Many thanks to Sabrina for providing me with most of the information contained within.

. This page was created on July 22, 1999 and last updated on July 1, 2003.

 

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