The world is coming to Anaheim in 2003

Los Angeles will host the world’s gymnastics elite for the third time in 2003, when the World Gymnastics Championships come to the Arrowhead Pond of Anaheim. A record entry field of more than 80 nations registered to come to Anaheim from 16-24 August, with opening ceremonies on 15 August. The team competitions are held from the 16th to the 20th (finals on 19th for men and 20th for women), the all-around on the 21st (men) and 22nd (women) and apparatus finals on the 23rd and 24th for both men and women.

The wonderful heritage of gymnastics in Los Angeles is, for many, summed up in one unforgettable moment. With an Olympic gold medal on the line, the diminutive American fireball, Mary Lou Retton, charged down the vault runway in her final event of the 1984 Olympic all-around competition at Pauley Pavilion on August 3, 1984 in front of a crowd that held its breath in anticipation. Seconds later, her full Twisting Tkukahara vault earned a perfect score of 10.00 to edge Romania’s graceful Ecaterina Szabo, 79.175 to 79.125 for the individual gold medal. It was judged the no. 58 moment on the Sports Council’s list of the 100 greatest moments in L.A. sports history, compiled in 1995.

Quick Facts

  • L.A. hosted the world’s finest gymnasts once prior to the 1984 Olympic Games: the 1932 Olympic Games. The Los Angeles Memorial Coliseum was the site!

  • UCLA was again the site for gymnastics for the 1991 U.S. Olympic Festival, with artistic gymnastics in Pauley Pavilion and rhythmic gymnastics at Collins Court in the Wooden Center.

  • For the Los Angeles bid for the 2012 Olympic Games, the Staples Center was the proposed venue.