By Anna Rose Johnson
Almost 22 years ago, Amanda Borden was unanimously elected team captain of the Magnificent Seven, and in July 1996, she led the team to an unprecedented gold medal. Well-known for her dynamic power and reliable steadiness, Borden was one of the greatest U.S. gymnasts of the era. Let’s take a look at some of our favorite routines from Borden’s storied career!
Feature Photo Courtesy Amanda Borden
Characterized by the fast-paced style of the 1990s, Borden’s uneven bars routine from the 1992 U.S. National Championships is a treat to watch, especially her big smile at the end of the performance! Coming into the 1992 Olympic season as an underdog, Borden just missed the cut for Barcelona, but she pressed on to compete in Atlanta in 1996:
Uneven Bars – 1992 U.S. Championships
Now an accomplished coach herself, Borden was coached by Mary Lee Tracy during her competitive career alongside her Olympic teammate Jaycie Phelps. (You can hear Tracy’s supportive voice in the background of this video from 1996 Nationals!) Borden’s height on this front pike vault is absolutely breathtaking:
Vault – 1996 U.S. Championships
Borden’s performances at the 1994 Team World Championships in Dortmund, Germany, helped the U.S. team win the silver medal. Borden’s gorgeous, unhurried presentation is remarkable:
Balance Beam – 1994 Worlds
The 1996 Games’ women’s team final was unquestionably one of the most epic gymnastics finals in Olympic history, and Borden played a vital role in the U.S. team’s victory over Russia and Romania. Competing on beam and floor – her strongest events – Borden delivered clutch performances to help Team USA rally after placing second in compulsories.
Her beam routine in the Atlanta optionals had great poise as well as strength. It is very rare to see a gymnast so poised on beam, making each skill look effortless:
Balance Beam – 1996 Olympics
On floor, Borden’s crowd-pleasing choreography and dazzling tumbling made a huge statement for the U.S. team. Opening with an enormous Arabian double front, Borden continued to impress throughout the routine with her signature finesse and pizzazz. We still love watching this performance!
Floor Exercise – 1996 Olympics
Stay tuned for the upcoming June issue of Inside Gymnastics, which includes a Q&A with Amanda Borden in the Industry Insider! If you’re not already subscribed, subscribe here and purchase the June 2018 issue here.
Note: Amanda Borden’s California Grand is an advertising partner of Inside Gymnastics Magazine.
Anna Rose Johnson writes about women’s artistic and rhythmic gymnastics. She loves Whippets, brownies, and full-twisting double layouts. Her writing portfolio can be viewed at: https://annarosejohnson.contently.com