|— Gymnast —|
|Country represented||United States|
May 10, 1977 |
|Discipline||Women's artistic gymnastics|
|Years on national team||6 (1990, 1992-97)|
|Club||Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy|
|Head coach(es)||Mary Lee Tracy|
Amanda Kathleen Borden (born May 10, 1977) is a retired American gymnast. She was the captain of the gold medal-winning United States team in the 1996 Summer Olympics, the Magnificent Seven; a team medalist at the World Championships, and a multiple medalist at the 1995 Pan American Games. Borden was known for her clean form and technique, as well as her vivacious, encouraging presence.
Amanda Borden was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. She attended Finneytown High School where she was on the A-honor roll, the National Honor Society and the Spanish National Honor Society. Borden was also her high school's homecoming queen.
Borden began gymnastics in 1984 and trained under coach Mary Lee Tracy at Cincinnati Gymnastics Academy. She was a member of the U.S. National Team for six years, earning her first berth as a junior in 1990. Due to her clean form and strong technique, Borden was chosen to demonstrate the 1993 - 1996 compulsory routines to the entire gymnastics community at the 1991 World Championships. Her enthusiastic, energetic demeanor also attracted attention, prompting commentators to nickname her "Pepsodent."
Borden placed 5th at the 1992 U.S. National Championships and 4th on floor and beam. At the 1992 Olympic Trials, however, she had a difficult competition, placed 7th and was not named to the Olympic team. While Borden reportedly considered retiring, she ultimately decided to continue training and competing in 1993. She placed 4th all-around at the U.S. National Championships and was named to the American team at the 1993 World Championships as an alternate.
In 1994 Borden placed third in the all-around, uneven bars and floor exercise at Nationals, and was named to both World Championships teams (in 1994, for the first and only time, there were separate team and individual Worlds). At the Team World Championships in Dortmund Germany, Borden helped the U.S. team win the silver medal. At the individual Worlds in Brisbane, Australia, she placed 8th all-around and made the uneven bars event final. Borden's original skill on the balance beam, a twisting straddle jump, was added to the Code of Points and named after her as element #2.302.
Borden was a member of the gold medal-winning U.S. Team at the 1995 Pan Am Games. Individually, she won a second gold medal on the balance beam, as well as silver medals in the all-around and floor exercise. She withdrew from the 1995 U.S. National Championships with an injury  but returned the following year to place 4th in the all-around at the 1996 Nationals. At the Olympic Trials, she placed fifth and was named to the U.S. team for the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta.
Borden was unanimously elected by her six teammates as the Olympic team captain. At the Games she competed on floor exercise and beam, and all four of her scores (compulsories and optionals) were counted toward the team total. Borden and her teammates went on to become the first American women's gymnastics team ever to win a gold medal at the Olympic Games, and the first American team overall to win the gold at a non-boycotted Games.
After her victory as part of the "Magnificent Seven", Borden appeared in numerous national tours and television appearances. She graduated summa cum laude from Arizona State University with a degree in early childhood education, though she was unable to compete under NCAA rules, having gained professional athlete status from promotional work.
In May 2006, Borden married Brad Cochran, and the couple currently owns the Gold Medal Gym in Tempe, Arizona, opened in May 2004, where she coaches as well. 2000 Olympic team member Jamie Dantzscher is one of the coaches at Borden's gym. At age 30, she gave birth to her first child, a daughter.
She also serves as a commentator on CBS Sports, Fox Sports, Turner Broadcasting, and ESPN, for gymnastics and cheerleading events. She also goes to IGC (International Gymnastics Camp) every summer to talk about her gymnastics experiences.
- God at the Olympics: An Interview with Amanda Borden at Patheos