Carly Patterson Designs a Leotard

Gymnastic Legend – Carly Patterson

Carly Patterson competed in the Athens Olympics in 2004 and became only the second American woman to capture Olympic Gold for the Individual All-Around, 20 years after Mary Lou Retton first did in 1984. Carly hit that pinnacle after a fast and furious gymnastics career with an impressive medal count at a young age. 

Carly caught the gymnastics bug while attending a cousin’s birthday party at a local gym.  After literally bouncing around her home, her mother decided to enroll her in a gymnastics class. Flash forward several years and Carly began training at the World Olympic Gymnastics Academy with Evgeny Marchenko and Natasha Boyarskaya as her personal coaches.

Carly exhibited tremendous talent from a young age. She made the Junior National Team at the age of 12. Two years later, she won the Junior National All-Around title. At the 2003 World Championships, Carly won Gold and Silver medals, respectively, in the Team and All-Around events and then tied for the All-Around title at the 2004 U.S. Nationals.  She reached the height of her career in 2004 winning Olympic Gold for Individual All Around. Carly describes this as “one of the most amazing moments of my life!” 

Carly was best-known for her impressive beam repertoire, being the first to perform an Arabian double front dismount, now aptly named the “Patterson”.  She also had amazing floor and vault skills.  

Carly took time off after the 2004 Games to heal a back injury she’d had throughout the competition, and announced her retirement from the sport shortly thereafter. Carly was inducted into the Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2009.

Carly found inspiration for her 2012 GK Legends Collection Leotard in revisiting the culmination of her gymnastics career, her golden moment at the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens.  

According to Carly, “The Olympic rings wrapping around the leotard are an awesome representation of what I achieved in my gymnastics career.”  The foundation for Carly’s take on the rings is Silver Mystique and each ring is created with Ocean, Black, Red, Yellow and Kelly Green Mystiques.

Since her retirement, Carly made several talk show appearances, was featured on an NBC special, adorned the front of a Wheaties box, honored as the March of Dimes' “Sportswoman of the Year” in 2004, and named one of Teen People's “20 Teens Who Will Change the World” in 2005.  

Currently, Carly attends the University of North Texas working towards her Bachelor’s Degree in Communications.  She is still very involved in gymnastic camps, speaking engagements and works with USA Gymnastics.

Get Carly's leotard - Shop the GK Gymnastic Legends Special Edition Catalog here!

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