Dianne Durham headlines 2021 USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame

By Patricia Duffy | June 11, 2021
Dianne Durham headlines 2021 USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame
Dianne Durham

USA Gymnastics has announced it will induct five individuals, including Dianne Durham, and one team into its Hall of Fame as part of the 2021 class, including:

  • The 2004 U.S. Men’s Olympic Team
  • Jim Aamodt – Longtime trampoline & tumbling coach and Lifetime Achievement Award recipient
  • Rebecca Bross – Six-time women’s artistic World medalist
  • Dianne Durham – 1983 U.S. women’s artistic all-around national champion and pioneer
  • Chris Estrada – 2008 Olympian in trampoline
  • Gene Watson – Longtime men’s program coach and volunteer

The 2021 and 2020 class, whose ceremony was postponed last summer, will be inducted on Saturday, June 26 in conjunction with the U.S. Olympic Team Trials, USA Gymnastics Championships, and 2021 National Congress & Trade Show.

Keep reading to find out more about this year’s Hall of Fame inductees, courtesy of USA Gymnastics.

2004 U.S. Men’s Olympic Team

ATHENS – AUGUST 16: The United States gymnastics team waves to the crowd after winning the silver medal in the men’s artistic gymnastics team final competition on August 16, 2004 during the Athens 2004 Summer Olympic Games at the Olympic Sports Complex Indoor Hall in Athens, Greece. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

The 2004 U.S. Men’s Olympic team took silver at the Athens Games, ending a 20-year medal drought for the program. The group – comprised of Jason Gatson, Morgan Hamm, Paul Hamm, Brett McClure, Blaine Wilson and Guard Young – remains one of the most decorated men’s artistic teams the U.S. has fielded on the international stage. In addition to earning team silver at the 2004 Olympic Games, Gatson, McClure, Wilson and the Hamms were members of the silver-medal-winning Worlds team in 2003. McClure, Young and Paul Hamm also won silver as part of the 2001 World Championships team. Paul was the first U.S. man to win World and Olympic all-around titles and finished his career with three Olympic and five World medals.

Jim Aamodt – Lifetime Achievement Award Recipient

Jim Aamodt (Courtesy USA Gymnastics)

During a coaching career that spanned more than four decades, Jim Aamodt coached 25 athletes who were selected to the U.S. National Team to 18 World Championship titles. He was twice selected USA Gymnastics’ T&T Coach of the Year and was tapped to coach the National Team 12 times. He and wife, Lori, owned and operated the Gymnastics Academy of Rockford in Rockford, Ill., for more than 25 years. Aamodt remained an active presence within the sport of gymnastics and was selected to serve in numerous leadership roles throughout his career, including serving as a FIG international judge. Aamodt also designed and developed a ski tumbling floor which evolved into the rod floor still used in competition today. Survived by his wife, Lori, and children Anthony and Bradee, Aamodt passed away in May and will receive this honor posthumously. 

Rebecca Bross – Women’s Artistic Gymnastics

Rebecca Bross (Courtesy USA Gymnastics)

Rebecca Bross is a six-time World medalist. She earned all-around silver in 2009 and bronze in 2010, while amassing a silver medal on balance beam and two bronze medals on uneven bars in addition to team silver across two World Championships. Bross was the 2010 U.S. all-around champion, topping the field in uneven bars and balance beam and finishing second on floor exercise in a dominating performance. She also took the 2010 American Cup title. Bross earned team and floor exercise gold representing the U.S. at the Senior Pan American Games in 2007. She placed second in the all-around. Following her retirement, Bross served as a coach from 2013-18. She is currently pursuing a career in physical therapy. 

Dianne Durham – Women’s Artistic Gymnastics

Dianne Durham (Courtesy USA Gymnastics)

Dianne Durham was a pioneer and icon within the gymnastics community. At the junior level, Durham claimed the 1981 and 1982 U.S. all-around championships, and in 1983, she became the first Black gymnast to capture a U.S. senior all-around national championship in a dominating performance that also earned her gold medals on vault, balance beam and floor exercise. Dianne was a strong contender for the 1984 Olympic team, but unfortunately suffered an injury at the Olympic Trials. Following her competitive career, Durham remained involved with gymnastics as a performer, coach and judge, and for nearly two decades operated Skyline Gymnastics in Chicago, Ill. Her success on the national stage broke barriers and trailblazed a path for all gymnasts of color who have followed in her footsteps. Durham, who passed away in February, will receive this honor posthumously. She is survived by her husband, Tom Drahozal. 

Chris Estrada – Trampoline And Tumbling

Chris Estrada (Courtesy USA Gymnastics)

A four-time national champion in men’s individual and synchronized trampoline, Chris Estrada was a U.S. T&T Senior National Team member from 2004-2009 and was named to the World Championships team three times. Estrada earned gold in men’s trampoline at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The following year, he represented the U.S. at the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, finishing 15th. After retiring from competitive trampoline, Estrada served in the United State Coast Guard and opened a gym – Trampoline and Power Tumbling Beeville – in south Texas and remains involved in the sport as a club owner and coach. 

Gene Watson – Men’s Artistic Gymnastics

Gene Watson (Courtesy USA Gymnastics)

Gene Watson was an integral part of the U.S. Men’s Gymnastics Development Program for nearly 40 years. In addition to coaching countless athletes, Watson served in numerous leadership positions, including as Georgia State Chairman, Region 8 Chairman, Region 7 Chairman, a Men’s Program Committee member and a member of both the Junior and Senior National Coaching Staff. For his tremendous service to the sport, Watson was awarded the Frank J. Cumiskey Service Award in 1991, USA Gymnastics’ Service Star Awards in 2002 and 2020, the U.S. Olympic and Paralympic Committee’s Developmental Coach of the Year honor in 2015 and a College Gymnastics Association Honor Coach in 2014. Watson passed away in April of 2020 and will receive this honor posthumously. He is survived by his wife, Mindy, and children Cameron, Logan, Devin, Rhys, Holly and Rachel.