By Jonathan Chun
Clinton County Chatter
It was July 2012 in London. The U.S. Olympic Gymnastics team was trying to become the first American team to win the women’s team competition on international grounds – and the second to ever do it at all.
Jordyn Wieber of DeWitt had already experienced the disappointment of failing to qualify for the all-around final for individual competition. Wieber had won the gold medal for that same event in the 2011 World Championships.
She was also performing with a stress fracture in her right leg. She was 16 years old
Wieber persevered through it all, and her team claimed gold.
Now nearly three years later, Wieber is retiring from gymnastics at the age of 19.
“When something comes to an end, there are always mixed emotions,” Wieber said in her announcement to The Players Tribune website. “Retiring from gymnastics wasn’t an easy decision because it is a world I love.”
The graduate of DeWitt High School now attends UCLA where she is studying psychology and will remain the team manager of the Bruins’ gymnastics team, per the school’s athletic website.
Still, DeWitt will always be home for Wieber. Even with the demands and difficulties of being a competitive gymnast since the age of four, Wieber was able to live as close to a normal childhood as she could.
“I went to proms and dances, attended high school football games, and lived as close to a normal life as possible for a competitive gymnast,” Wieber said.
One thing that made that feasible was the gym in which she trained for her entire career. Geddert’s Twistars – located in Dimondale, Mich. – is just a 20-minute drive from DeWitt. John and Kathryn Geddert coached Wieber all the way into the Olympics.
“I did have a busy schedule, going from practice to school and back to practice again each day,” Wieber said. “But it was worth it to be able to have the experiences of a high school student.”
Nevertheless, the primary reason Wieber was able to find success on the mat and balance off of it was her parents, Rita and David Wieber.
“My ability to maintain a balance was mostly because I had two great parents who believed in it,” Wieber said.
Now, after 15 years of maintaining stability on the balance beam of school, sport and sociality, Wieber will dismount back to a “normal” life.
While star athletes come and go every year, Wieber will forever be known as DeWitt’s golden girl.