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Marcia Frederick
Frederick at the 1978 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships

Country represented

Flag of the United States of America.png United States of America


January 4 1963 (1963-01-04) (age 58)
Springfield, Massachusetts, USA


Muriel Grossfeld and Don Peter

Current status


Marcia Frederick (born January 4, 1963, in Springfield, MA) is a retired American gymnast. She made history by becoming the first American World Champion (1978 on uneven bars).

Frederick started gymnastics at an early age. In her words, “It started the day I walked into Pioneer (Gymnastic School) and told Leo Leger I wanted to be the best in the world.” By the late 70’s Marcia was making history at an age when her peers were making their first dates. She continues, “It never increased, it never decreased. It stayed the same. It was the exact same internal pressure at the Worlds as when I practiced routines at Pioneer. I never played with dolls. I never watched cartoons. I just wanted to be the best.” Her coach, Leo Leger stated that, “Marcia was like a sponge in the gym. Gymnastics was literally her life. You didn’t have to do much with Marcia. She was doing exactly what she wanted to do. She slept and ate gymnastics. If you told her to repeat a skill 10 times and walked away and came back, she’d still be doing it.” She was nine years old.

At 12 years of age, Marcia decided to transfer to Milford, Connecticut to work with Muriel Grossfeld, 1981 HOF Honoree, who, at the time, was the U.S. Olympic Head Coach. Marcia’s workout style has been compared to the training regimen of Ray Hadley and Doris Fuchs – hard, intense, almost angry. Under Muriel Grossfeld and Don Peter’s tutelage, Marcia progressed to her world title on the UB and made the 1980 Olympic Team. For all intents and purposes, Frederick’s gymnastics career that started at the age of nine ended at the age of 18 with the Moscow boycott.

Medal Count

Year Event TF AA VT UB BB FX
1978 Strasbourg World Championships 1st
1980 International Mixed Pairs 1st
1981 International Mixed Pairs 3rd

World Uneven Bars Champions
Vlasta Děkanová | Matylda Pálfyová • Anna Petersen | Gertchen Kolar • Agnes KeletiLarisa Latynina • Irina Pervushina • Natalia KuchinskayaKarin JanzAnnelore ZinkeMarcia FrederickMa YanhongMaxi GnauckGabriele FaehnrichDörte Thümmler | Daniela SilivaşDaniela Silivaş | Fan DiKim Gwang-SukLavinia MiloşoviciShannon MillerLuo LiSvetlana KhorkinaSvetlana Khorkina | Elena PiskunSvetlana KhorkinaCourtney KupetsChellsie Memmel | Hollie ViseNastia LiukinBeth TweddleKsenia SemenovaHe KexinBeth TweddleViktoria KomovaHuang HuidanYao JinnanFan Yilin | Viktoria Komova | Madison Kocian | Daria SpiridonovaFan YilinNina DerwaelWei Xiaoyuan