Kerri Strug | Olympians + Massage Therapy

Kerri Strug is a member of the Magnificent Seven, the victorious all-around women's U.S. gymnastics team, which is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year. Meet Kerri and other elite athletes at the AMTA 2016 National Convention, October 26-29 in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. 

Hear her discuss the health benefits of massage therapy at the Closing Session panel Bringing Home the Gold: Olympians + Massage Therapy on Saturday, October 29.

Register now »

Kerri Strug Invites You to the AMTA 2016 National Convention

Q&A With Kerri Strug

What was it like competing in the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta? Tell us about your most memorable moment.
It was terrific to have the games in Atlanta--in the USA. The enthusiasm and "home court advantage" (having our family and friends in the stands) and not having to acclimate to another environment made a big difference for the American athletes. My most memorable moment was standing on the podium with my teammates. My life long dream of winning an Olympic medal was realized and the self-satisfaction was amazing!

Do you have an experience with massage therapy you’d like to share from your training or injury recovery?
When I hurt my ankle at the Olympics on that final vault, I used massage regularly a few weeks later. I know the general public thinks about relaxation massages, but an athlete uses massages to aid in their recovery and get more mobility in their muscles and joints.

What resources did you draw on to be able to complete that famous second vault?
I relied on all the hard work and dedication I had put forth until that moment. I had practiced the vault hundreds of thousands of times—when I was tired, body parts hurt and also when I felt good. I knew I could do it and I had to focus on the task at hand. I visualized the vault in my head, went through the key technical words I always said to myself before I practiced/performed the vault, and told myself I could and would do it. Then I just went on automatic pilot.

Get to know Kerri and our other Olympians in the fall issue of Massage Therapy Journal.


More About Kerri

Kerri Strug earned nationwide stardom for her heroic efforts at the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta. After injuring her ankle on her first vault attempt, she needed to land her second and final vault in order to seal the victory over Russia for the team combined gymnastics gold medal. With millions of people watching, and two torn ligaments in her leg, Kerri got the job done with a solid landing before collapsing to her hands and knees. She was carried to the award ceremony where she received her first gold medal. It was the first time the U.S. gymnastics team won gold.

Outside her Olympic career, Kerri received a masters degree in social psycology at Stanford University. With her experience, she worked at the U.S. Juvenile Justice Department and with the White House's student correspondence department.


AMTA 2016 National Convention Closing Session
Bringing Home the Gold: Olympians + Massage Therapy

Saturday, October 29, 2-4pm | 2 Credit Hours | Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Featuring Bonnie Blair, Alicia Dana, Kerri Strug, Abby Wambach. Moderated by Dr. Brent Bauer of the Mayo Clinic.

Research shows massage therapy can benefit athletes of all fitness levels, and Olympic athletes are no exception. A panel of elite athletes will share how massage therapy helped them reach their Olympic dreams. The Mayo Clinic’s Dr. Brent Bauer will moderate the discussion and explain the science of massage for athletes.

Register now »

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