Julianne McNamara
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Julianne McNamara
Julianne McNamara
Julianne McNamara 2016.jpg
Personal information
Full nameJulianne Lyn McNamara
Country represented United States
Born (1965-10-11) October 11, 1965 (age 54)
SpouseTodd Zeile (1989-2015)
DisciplineWomen's artistic gymnastics
LevelSenior International Elite
Eponymous skillsMcNamara (Uneven Bars)

Julianne Lyn McNamara (born October 11, 1965) is an American former artistic gymnast, who was born to Australians Jean and Kevin McNamara. She was the winner of the U.S. women's first individual event gold medal in Olympic history.[]


McNamara won the 1980 US all-around title and qualified for the 1980 Olympic team but did not compete due to the Olympic Committee's boycott of the 1980 Summer Olympics in Moscow, Russia. As consolation, she was one of 461 athletes to receive a Congressional Gold Medal many years later.[1] A year later, at the World Championships that were coincidentally also held in Moscow, McNamara notched the top U.S. women's world all-around finish (seventh place) at that point in history. She also earned a bronze medal on bars, a seventh on floor and finished fifth on beam. She had entered the beam final in first place but went overtime in the final.[]

At the 1982 World Cup, McNamara fell off the bars to place eighth all-around. In finals, however, she earned a bronze on vault and a seventh place on beam. At the 1983 world championships, she finished 16th all-around, sixth on vault, and seventh on uneven bars.[]

In 1982, The Flower Council of Holland, headed by namesake Dutch Queen Juliana, christened the Julianne McNamara rose. At the time, the only other American woman to be so honored was the then U.S. First Lady Nancy Reagan.[]

The climax of McNamara's athletic career was at the 1984 Olympic Games in Los Angeles. There, she tied Ma Yanhong from China for first on the uneven bars (both gymnasts scored 10.00), won the silver on floor, and placed fourth all-around.[]

Eponymous Skills

Uneven Bars: Jump to clear support - clear hip circle with half turn (mount; D).[]


Although the 1984 Olympics was her last formal competition, McNamara did not retire officially until 1987. Her international accomplishments are considered to have played a major role in spotlighting the U.S. women's team in the early 1980s. Even though she only had the opportunity to be named the national All-Around champion in 1980, she was internationally recognized as the top American gymnast from 1980 to 1982.[]

Upon her retirement from gymnastics, McNamara embarked on an acting career, appearing in television shows such as Charles in Charge and Knight Rider. She also did color commentary for some television gymnastics coverage.[]

In 1989, McNamara married baseball player Todd Zeile, whom she met while attending UCLA. She retired from her acting career, and the couple had four children together. One of her daughters, Hannah Zeile, currently stars as teenage Kate Pearson on This Is Us.[2] McNamara and Zeile divorced in January 2015.[3]

I hope people think I brought integrity to gymnastics. My impact was a feeling that I loved the sport and that it was from my heart.[]


  1. ^ Caroccioli, Tom; Caroccioli, Jerry. Boycott: Stolen Dreams of the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games. Highland Park, IL: New Chapter Press. pp. 243-253. ISBN 978-0942257403.
  2. ^ Pham, Jason (March 13, 2018). "How 'This Is Us' Helped Hannah Zeile Overcome Her Body Insecurities". StyleCaster. Retrieved 2019.
  3. ^ "Todd Zeile went from MLB to Hollywood, with Charlie Sheen's help". Sports Illustrated. July 1, 2015. Retrieved 2019.


External links

  This article uses material from the Wikipedia page available here. It is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0.



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