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Tracee Talavera
Talavera tracee 1981 worlds.jpg
Talavera at the 1981 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships

Country represented

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

Born

September 1 1966 (1966-09-01) (age 54)
San Francisco, California, USA

Height

5 ft. 4 in.

Years on National Team

1979-1984

Club

NAAG

Coach(es)

Dick & Linda Mulvihill

Current status

Retired

Tracee Talavera (born September 1, 1966 in San Francisco) is a retired artistic gymnast of Mexican-American descent who competed for the United States at the Olympics and World Championships. She was the 1981 and 1982 U.S. National All-around Champion and a member of the silver medal-winning American team at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles.

Career

Coached by Dick and Linda Mulvihill until 1983, when she began training with Mike Lynch, Talavera rose to prominence on the U.S. gymnastics scene in the late 1970s. In 1978 she won the all-around titles in both the junior division of the U.S. National Championships and the Junior Olympic Nationals. The following year, competing as a senior, she placed second in the all-around at the U.S. Nationals and third at the World team trials. She was awarded a spot on the 1979 team for the World Championships, but at age 12½ was well below the minimum age requirement of 14 and was deemed ineligible to compete.

Talavera continued to enjoy success in 1980. Early in the year, she won the all-around title and every event except vault at the American Cup, beating a field that included Romanian Emilia Eberle, a multiple medalist at the World Championships. She also placed first at the Olympic Festival and had a strong second-place all-around showing at the 1980 U.S. Nationals. In 1980 Talavera was also the subject of a biography, The story of a young gymnast: Tracee Talavera published by Bantam Books. She won the U.S. Olympic Trials and was named to the women's gymnastics team for the 1980 Olympics in Moscow. However, due to President Jimmy Carter's boycott of the Games in the Soviet Union to protest the invasion of Afghanistan, Talavera, along with the rest of the American team, was unable to participate in the Olympics.

Talavera continued competing as a member of the U.S. National team after the Olympics. In 1981, she won her second U.S. National Championship and participated in the World Championships in Moscow, helping the American team to a 6th-place finish. She also became one of only a few American women to date to win an individual medal at Worlds, earning a bronze on the balance beam. Talavera's original balance beam element, a one-handed flair, was named after her in the Code of Points. It is still included in the Code, and currently carries a 'C' difficulty rating.

In 1983 Talavera's competitive fortunes changed. She was only able to achieve a 15th place finish at U.S. Nationals and was left off the World Championships team. However, in 1984 she returned to finish 8th in the all-around at Nationals and win the beam gold medal, placed 6th at the U.S. Olympic Trials, and earned a spot on the American team at the 1984 Olympics in Los Angeles. She helped the team to a silver-medal finish and qualified for the vault event final, placing 4th.

After the Olympics, Talavera participated in an exhibition tour with her teammates.

Retirement

Talavera retired from gymnastics after the 1984 tour and returned to school, earning a B.A. degree in Communications from Saint Mary's College of California in 1990. In 1998 she was inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame. She was working as a coach at Golden Gate Gymnastics in Concord, California (until they closed in 2009) and remains involved in USA Gymnastics. In 2000, she was a member of the selection committee for the women's gymnastics team for the Sydney Olympics.

Medal Count

Year Event TF AA VT UB BB FX
1976 CA Class II State Championships 1st
Desert Devil Classic 5 2nd
1977 CA Class II State Championships 1st
CA Youth Cup 3rd
Can-Am Youth Invitational 4
Sagebrush Open 4 1st 5
1978 Oregon Class I Championships 1st
Region II Championships 1st 2nd 2nd 1st
Western Regional Level 10 Junior Olympic Nationals 1st 1st 1st
Level 10 Junior Olympic Nationals 1st 1st 1st
USGF Junior Nationals 1st 1st 5 6
CAN-USA Youth Championships 1st
NAAG vs. JPN 2nd 6 1st 2nd
USA-JPN Dual Meet 2nd
Desert Devil Classic 2nd 2nd 2nd
Emerald Empire Cup 1st 1st 1st
KIPS Invitational 6
Rose Cup 1st
1979 U.S. National Championships 3rd 8 1st 4
Oregon Open 1st 1st 1st 5
Dial Selection Meet 6
HUN-USA Dual Meet 6
Dial American Cup 3rd 1st 1st
Far West Invitational 2nd 3rd 1st 3rd
Fiesta Bowl 1st
Hungary International 7 4 4
Husky Classic 3rd 3rd 3rd
International Mixed Pairs 5
KIPS Invitational 6 3rd 1st 6
National Sports Festival 1st 1st 1st
World Team Trials 3rd
1980 U.S. National Championships 2nd 2nd 6 2nd
2nd Elite Nationals 1st 1st 1st 1st 4
American Cup 1st 1st 1st 1st
Chunichi Cup 14
Caesar's Palace Invitational 2nd
Capital Cup 3rd
KIPS Invitational 1st 2nd 1st 1st
National Sports Festival 1st 1st
Women's Games 9
Olympic Festival 1st
U.S. Olympic Trials 1st
1981 U.S. National Championships 1st
American Cup 2nd
International Gymnastics Team Championships 1st 5
U.S. World Team Trials 2nd
Moscow World Championships 6 20 3rd
1982 American Classic 3rd
U.S. Classic 3rd
U.S. National Championships 1st 5 2nd 2nd 4
USA-CHN Dual Meet 2nd
USA vs. USSR 2nd 10
McDonald's American Cup 3rd
Chunichi Cup 11
Caesar's Palace Invitational 1st
Emerald Empire Cup 1st 1st 2nd 1st 1st
KIPS Invitational 3rd 1st 1st
1983 U.S. National Championships 15 4
USA vs. USSR 2nd 9
McDonald's American Cup 1st
International Mixed Pairs 3rd
Emerald Empire Cup 2nd
U.S. World Team Trials 8
1984 American Classic 4 2nd 1st 4
U.S. Classic 1st 2nd 1st 4
U.S. National Championships 8 3rd 1st 5
USA-CAN Dual Meet 1st 7
Albuquerque International Invitational 3rd
Caesar's Palace Invitational 4
Emerald Empire Cup 2nd 5 1st 1st
U.S. Olympic Trials 6
Los Angeles Olympic Games 2nd 4


U.S. Classic Champions
Seniors
Diane Durham • Tracee Talavera • Sabrina Mar • Doe Yamashiro • Phoebe Mills • Juliet Bangerter • Agina Simpkins • Kim KellyWendy BruceDominique DawesAmanda BordenJaycie PhelpsJennie Thompson • Lindsay Wing • Jennie Thompson • Sierra Sapunar • Vanessa AtlerTasha SchwikertAnnia HatchCourtney KupetsTia OrlandoNastia LiukinNatasha Kelley | Ashley PriessBridget Sloan • Ashley Stott • Olivia Courtney • Mattie LarsonAly RaismanKyla RossSimone BilesAly RaismanAlyona ShchennikovaSimone Biles
Juniors
Tracey Butler • Susie Silverman • Jennifer Barton • Sheryl Dundas | Catherine Williams • Juliet Bangerter | Shannon MillerKim Zmeskal | Laura Segundo • Larissa Fontaine | Amy Shelton • Anne Woynerowsky | Judy Esmero • Kristy Powell | Doni Thompson • Kristi Lichey • Katie Teft • Robin Phelps • Kristin Jensen • Kristin Thome • Morgan WhiteKristal UzelacCarly PattersonNastia LiukinAshley PriessShawn Johnson • Rheagan Courville • Jordyn WieberKyla RossJordyn WieberKyla RossSimone BilesBailie KeyJordan ChilesLaurie HernandezIrina AlexeevaEmma MalabuyoKonnor McClainKatelyn Jong