Marianna Webster (USA)

Photo used with the expressed permission of Shanfan. Check out Shanfan's gymnastics site!

1993 US Olympic Festival: 1st T, 3rd AA
1993 US Classic
1994 Goodwill Games: 4th T, 3rd BB
1994 USA vs ROM: 10th AA
1995 US Olympic Festival
1995 US Nationals: 34th AA

Like many parents of elite gymnasts, Rick and Melanie Webster made many sacrifices for their daughter's career. When Marianna was 8-years-old, she was invited to train at Karolyi's in Houston, Texas. Marianna and her mother moved to Houston while Rick stayed in Joplin, Missouri to work. Marianna spent four years at Karolyi's, then switched to Steve Nunno's Dynamo gymnastics club in 1992 when Karolyi announced his (short-lived) retirement.

Marianna achieved much success during her early years at Nunno's. She burst onto the national scene at the 1993 US Olympic Festival, a common "coming out" competition for many former US athletes including Kim Zmeskal and Dominique Moceanu. The following year, Marianna made her international debut at the 1994 Goodwill Games, earning a bronze on the balance beam. The big story here was that the judges intially failed to recognize the full start value of Marianna's routine and Marianna's score placed her fourth. When the error was pointed out to the judges, the revised score earned her a bronze medal. The other big story here is that the entire US women's team was made up of Nunno's athletes. The 1994 Goodwill Games were held two weeks before US Nationals and no other coach wanted to see their girls overseas so close to such an important meet.

With the 1996 Olympics two years away, Marianna looked like a candidate for the US women's team. Unfortunately, Marianna's body thought otherwise and she was plagued by injuries for the next two years. These injuries included three major setbacks, including a pulled inner-leg muscle, knee surgery and a shoulder separation. It was the shoulder injury that prevented Marianna from competing at the 1996 US Olympic trials. ``I feel like I would have been one of the finalists for the team,'' she told The Joplin Globe. ``Whether I would have been one of the top seven, I can't say. I guess I'll never know.''

Disappointed, Webster left Nunno's to train with Dominique Dawes at Hill's Angels and began to see a sports psychologist. She finished her senior year of high school in Gaithersburg, Maryland and moved on to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. At UNC Webster studied B.A. in Exercise and Sports Science, coached the NCAA gymnastics team in the afternoon.

Today Webster holds a certificate in personal training, from the prestigious National Strength & Conditioning Association. She presently works at Fit for Life in Memphis, TN where she's involved with their "Transformation" program, which helps girls and women deal with body image and eating disorders. 

Outside of work, Webster is a U.S. gymnastics mentor and sits on the USA Gymnastics Athlete Representative Council.

Marianna Webster was born on December 14, 1978

. This page was created on April 29, 1999 and last updated on January 8, 2004.

 

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