Guard Young

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Guard Young
— Gymnast —
Full name Guard Wayne Young
Country represented  United States
Born (1977-06-03) 3 June 1977 (age 37)
State College, Pennsylvania, United States[1]
Residence Norman, Oklahoma, United States[1]
Height 1.60 m (5 ft 3 in)
Weight 55 kg (121 lb)
Discipline Men's artistic gymnastics
Years on national team 1987–2004
Club Team Chevron Oklahoma[1]
College team BYU Cougars
Head coach(es) Mark Williams[1]
Former coach(es) Makato Sakamoto[1]

Guard Wayne Young (born June 3, 1977 in State College, Pennsylvania) is a retired American gymnast.[2] He is a three-time member of the U.S. gymnastics team at the World Championships, and contributed to a silver medal in the men's all-around in 2001. Three years later, at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens, Young helped his U.S. squad to earn a silver medal in the same program, a best finish since 1984. During his college career, Young has earned six All-American and two NCAA titles in the men's vault. In 2010, Young was inducted to the sports hall of fame by the Brigham Young University.

Early years[edit]

Young was born in State College, Pennsylvania, the son of former gymnast and 1976 U.S. Olympic team captain Wayne Young.[1] He started gymnastics at the age of ten by his father, serving as a lifetime coach and mentor. When his family moved to Norman, Oklahoma, Young trained under head coach Mark Williams for the Bart Conner Gymnastics Academy, before he transferred to Team Chevron. Because of his coach's guidance, he became a junior national champion in 1996, and later a full-fledged member of the U.S. senior gymnastics team.[3][4]

Despite having a difficult decision for college, Young attended Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah, where he played for the BYU Cougars gymnastics team. During his college career, he received a total of six All-American titles and became a double vault champion and all-around runner-up at the NCAA Gymnastics Championships. At the end of his junior year, his men's gymnastics team was disbanded for financial shortage, leaving Young to redshirt the entire season in preparation for the U.S. Olympic trials.[5] Sadly, he missed a spot on the U.S. squad for his official Olympic debut by a mere four places, finishing tenth in the all-around from the trials. In 2001, Young graduated from the University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in communications major in broadcast journalism.[4]



Young made his official debut at the 2001 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Ghent, Belgium, where he earned a silver medal for the U.S. gymnastics team in the men's team all-around competition with a total score of 166.845.[6] While playing in a worldwide level, Young was appointed to be an assistant coach for the University of Oklahoma gymnastics team by his head coach Williams, helping the Sooners to be one of NCAA's most decorated programs.[4]

2004 Summer Olympics[edit]

Young competed for the United States, as a 27-year-old, at the 2004 Summer Olympics in Athens by earning a spot in the men's gymnastics team from the Olympic trials in Boston.[7] On the first day of the Games, Young missed a spot on the floor exercises (a score of 9.700) from the prelims, after the judges elected Bulgaria's Yordan Yovchev to compete in the final. In the team all-around, Young ended a 20-year-old drought to capture a silver for the U.S. men's best medal finish, joining on top of the podium by Jason Gatson, Paul Hamm, Morgan Hamm, Blaine Wilson, and Brett McClure.[5][8] During the competition, Young performed a floor (9.700), rings (9.475), and vault (9.350) to sum up the team's total to 172.933, trailing Japan by almost a full point.[8][9][10]

Life after gymnastics[edit]

Shortly after the Olympics, Young announced his retirement from competitive gymnastics to further continue his career as an assistant coach. Since 2005, he managed three gymnastics academies around Oklahoma proper for six years, before he set a major comeback to work again with his coach Mark Williams for the Oklahoma Sooners.[4]

Because of a full commitment and dedication to his sporting accomplishments, Young was inducted to the Hall of Fame by the Brigham Young University in 2010.[4]

Since 1999, Young is married to school teacher Alisha Tolman, and the couple currently resides with their son Tyler Mark in Norman, Oklahoma.[11][1]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g "USA Men's Gymnastics Team Profile: Guard Young" (PDF). USA Gymnastics. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  2. ^ "Guard Young". Olympics at Sports Reference LLC. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  3. ^ "Determination takes Young from underdog to Olympics". USA Today. 2 August 2004. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  4. ^ a b c d e "Former Olympian Guard Young Returns to OU Staff". Oklahoma Sooners. 16 June 2011. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  5. ^ a b Benson, Lee (17 August 2004). "Silver medal a 'beautiful thing'". Deseret News. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 
  6. ^ "U.S. Men's World Team Makes History By Earning First-Ever Silver Medal". USA Gymnastics. 31 October 2001. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  7. ^ Elliott, Helene (25 June 2004). "McClure Sits in Second Place at Trials". USA Gymnastics. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  8. ^ a b Garcia, Marlen (17 August 2004). "Precious metal found in Athens". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  9. ^ "Men's Artistic Gymnastics Team All-Around". Athens 2004. BBC Sport. 17 August 2004. Retrieved 20 May 2013. 
  10. ^ "USA Comes From Behind To Win Team Silver". USA Gymnastics. 17 August 2004. Retrieved 23 May 2013. 
  11. ^ Hamilton, Linda (17 August 2004). "Young's dream coming true". Deseret News. Retrieved 24 May 2013. 

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