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Dominque Moceanu had one of the most powerful stories of any athlete on the 1996 U.S. women's Olympic gymnastics team that became legends as the "Magnificent Seven." The 15-year-old gymnast overcame a serious injury and uncharacteristic mistakes to become one of the most popular Olympians of the era.
Moceanu was the reigning U.S. champion coming into the 1996 Atlanta Games, but she was coping with a stress fracture in her tibia and was unable to even compete in the Olympic Trials. However, she performed so well at the 1996 national championships that she was still selected to the team and contributed to the United States' first-ever gold medal in the women's team event.
What Olympics did Moceanu compete in?
Moceanu only competed in the 1996 Olympic Games in Atlanta. She attempted to qualify for the 2000 Sydney Games as well, but was forced to withdraw from the Trials because of a knee injury.
How many medals did Moceanu win?
Moceanu's sole Olympic medal was the team gold that the Magnificent Seven won in 1996. She was expected to be a contender for an individual all-around medal after Kerri Strug could not compete due to her infamous ankle injury, but Moceanu was still struggling with her own injury and ultimately placed ninth in the event. She also finished just outside of medal position on floor exercise, coming in fourth.
What happened to Moceanu after the Olympics?
Moceanu went through a dramatic trial just two years after the Olympics to emancipate herself from her father at the age of 17. She claimed that her father had misused her earnings as a professional gymnast and that he was abusive and controlling towards her. She ultimately won the petition and gained control of her finances.
However, this wasn't the end of her fight against abuse. Moceanu was personally coached by Bela and Marta Karolyi for many years and was one of the first gymnasts to speak out about their abusive training tactics. She also testified at a Senate Judiciary hearing about the U.S. Gymnastics sexual abuse scandal.
What is Moceanu doing now?
Like her Magnificent Seven teammates Dominque Dawes, Amanda Borden and Jaycie Phelps, Moceanu owns and teaches at her own gym, and her son Vincent, who is also a gymnast, currently trains there.
Catch up with other Olympic legends:
Where can you follow Moceanu ?
Moceanu is on Instagram @dominiquemoceanu and on Twitter @dmoceanu. She frequently posts photos from her gym and of her family on Instagram, and she has been active in discussing the upcoming Tokyo Olympics on Twitter.
Contact Emily Adams at firstname.lastname@example.org or on Twitter @eaadams6.
This article originally appeared on USA TODAY: Dominique Moceanu: Olympic gymnast sees her legacy live on in gym, son