|Date of Birth
||December 3, 1987
|Place of Birth
Alicia Sacramone was born 3 December 1987 and is a World Champion gymnast from Boston, Massachusetts. Sacramone was the 2005 World Champion on Floor Exercise and has won many titles with her powerful and spunky gynnastics style. Alicia struggles with the Uneven Bars and occasionally the Balance Beam, but is one of the world's strongest competitors on Floor and Vault.
Alicia first started gymnastics after she was discovered doing cartwheels in a local shopping mall in Massachusetts. Sacramone first qualified as an elite gymnast in 2000 and competed in various important competitions in America. While she drew attention for her engergetic style and promising vault and floor work, she was known for succumbing to pressure in major competitions and making mistakes as a result. Her best results prior to 2004 were a seventh place finish in the All Around at the 2002 US Classic and a Fourteenth place at Senior Nationals in 2003. While the latter qualified her for the Senior National team, Alicia was never in the picture to make the 2003 World Championships Team.
2004 was a year of both low and high points in Alicia's career. She was a member of the team that competed at the Pacific Alliance competition and won Gold, but her Olympic Dream soon came unstuck. Alicia failed to qualify for the final Olympic Selection trials after a disastrous nationals competition marred by several major mistakes and falls. National team coach Marta Karoyli now imfamously claimed she was 'through' with Sacramone after these mistakes. Despite this, Sacramone showed fierce determination and continued with gymnastics despite her disappointment of missing the Olympic Team. She spent the summer of 2004 training hard at her gym, under the guidance of coach Mihai Brestyan, working to improve her technique, mental toughness and consistency. As one of the few American gymnasts still training after the Olympics, Sacramone went to Birmingham, England to compete in the World Cup finals. Her summer training had paid off enormously and she won gold in the Vault Final, defeating reigning Olympic Champion Monica Rosu with a score of 9.481. Anna Pavlova, another Olympic Vault Medalist placed third behind Sacramone and Rosu.
2005 saw Alicia continue her metoric rise to the top of the gymnastics ranks. She competed at the American Cup competition, placing first on vault and second on floor. Later that year she performed well at US Nationals, became national champion on both Vault and Floor as well as placing a respectable fourth All Around. The high all-around placing was a considerable achievement for an athlete who is an apparatus specialist and who is comparatively very weak on bars. The highlight of her nationals performance was a second day floor routine which scored a near perfect 9.9, one of the highest scores ever awarded under the code of points used at the time.
However, it would be at the 2005 World Championships in Melbourne, Australia where Alicia would truly shine. As a member of the United States team, she qualified for finals on both Vault and Floor. In the Vault Final, she won the Bronze medal behind Cheng Fei of China and Oksana Chusovitina then representing Uzbekistan, now representing Germany. Alicia's combined score was 9.412. Alicia became World Champion when she won the Floor Exercise final with her energetic performance and powerful tumbling. Her score of 9.612 saw her comfortably win the gold medal ahead of United States teammate Nastia Liukin.
Alicia was a member of the U.S. team at the 2006 World Championships in Aarhus, Denmark. In the preliminary round of competition, she qualified for the vault event final. She failed to qualify for the floor final after receiving a deduction of .5 for a pause during her leap combination. This caused some disquiet because she had performed the same routine in domestic competition without deduction, but the rules do state that movement during the leap combination must be continuous, with no pauses. After this initial disappointment, Alicia went on to compete well in the team final, contributing to the U.S. team's silver medal with clutch performances on the vault, balance beam and floor. The strong beam performance was particularly noteworthy, as it is not her stongest apparatus and she fell three times on the piece in the 2005 World Championships. She also won a second silver medal in the vault final, moving up one place from her previous year's performance.
Sacramone enrolled in Brown University, an Ivy League school, in the fall of 2006. She is a member of the Brown gymnastics team, and is the current Ivy League champion in every event. However, she has also maintained her elite training schedule, and intends to continue participating in international events as a member of the U.S. national team. She is currently the only female gymnast on the U.S. team to combine full-time college study with participation in both NCAA and elite gymnastics. She qualified to the 2007 NCAA finals as a floor specialist, but was unable to advance to the event final after stepping out of bounds in prelims.