Carly Patterson

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Carly Patterson
— Gymnast —
Carly Patterson.jpg
Patterson in 2009
Personal information
Full name Carly Rae Patterson-Caldwell
Born (1988-02-04) February 4, 1988 (age 28)
Baton Rouge, Louisiana, U.S.
Hometown Allen, Texas
Height 152 cm (5 ft 0 in)
Discipline Women's artistic gymnastics
Level Senior Elite
Years on national team 2000–2004[1]
Club World Olympic Gymnastics Academy
Head coach(es) Evgeny Marchenko
Assistant coach(es) Natasha Boyarskaya
Choreographer Tatiana Shegolkova
Eponymous skills Patterson: Double Arabian Dismount (balance beam)
Retired 2006

Carly Rae Patterson-Caldwell (born February 4, 1988) is an American singer and former gymnast. She is the 2004 Olympic All-Around Champion and a member of the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame. She currently lives in Allen, Texas.[citation needed]


Pre-Olympic career[edit]

Patterson was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana)[citation needed]. She was at her cousin's birthday party at Baton Rouge's Elite Gymnastics club in 1994 when coach Johnny Moyal, a three-time Israeli Olympian, noticed her talent and suggested that she begin to take lessons.[2] Originally, her mother, who was a former gymnast herself, was hesitant about it, but Carly started tumbling and jumping around her house. There was not much room, and as her mom did not want her to get hurt, she enrolled her in gymnastics. In 2000, Patterson participated in the Top Gym Tournament in Belgium and won the silver medal in the all-around and the bronze medal for balance beam, her favorite event.[3]

At the 2001 Goodwill Games in Brisbane, Australia, she was ranked second in the all-around before the final rotation. She missed three landings on the floor exercise, however, and finished seventh overall. "I don't know what happened," she said. "I can't give up, I will keep going. I was happy with my first three rotations, especially beam."[4]

Patterson was named the U.S. Junior National All-Around champion in 2002. She had previously received fourth place in 2000 and third place in 2001. She then began her senior career by winning the 2003 American Cup, where she was the youngest competitor at the event, having just turned 15. This set of wins solidified her as a leading American gymnast and viable candidate for the 2004 Olympic all-around title.[5]

She was forced to sit out the 2003 U.S. National Championships, which would have been her first Nationals event as a senior, because of a broken elbow. Although she could not compete she was able to successfully petition to the 2003 World Gymnastics Championships. At the 2003 World Gymnastics Championships in Anaheim, California, she earned the all-around silver medal —the first time an American woman had won an all-around medal at that competition since 1994. She also helped her team to earn the team gold medal, a first for the American women.

Patterson again won the all-around at the prestigious American Cup in 2004. In the first major meet of the Olympic year, she swept the competition, winning all four events and the all-around, collecting a total of $14,000 for her wins ($10,000 for the all around, $1,000 per event). Just days before the competition her coach, Evgeny Marchenko, had lost his mother. He barely arrived in time for the competition and during the meet Patterson dedicated her performance to his mother.

In 2004, she became a co-champion with Courtney Kupets in the all-around event at the U.S. Gymnastics Championships. She also won the floor exercise and placed second on balance beam.

At the 2004 Olympic trials, Patterson had two uncharacteristic falls on balance beam over the course of two days, dropping her to third place. Although she did not earn an automatic Olympic berth at this competition, her successful performances at the training camp following trials were more than enough to place her on the team.

2004 Summer Olympics[edit]

At the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Patterson competed as an all-around athlete in the preliminary competition, finishing first overall and qualifying for the all-around and balance beam finals. The United States faced difficulties in the team final, and Carly had her share of mishaps. She under-rotated her vault, stubbed the low bar with her foot, and her beam routine was marred by wobbles and a lunge forward on the dismount; only on floor did she perform as well as she was capable of. She later admitted to being distracted after a rushed start on vault, with her coach saying, "The beginning of the competition was stressful. It set the tone."[6] The U.S. Women, the reigning world champions, settled for silver.

The Individual All-Around proved to be the much-anticipated battle between Patterson and legendary three-time World all-around champion Svetlana Khorkina. After scoring lower than usual on the vault (9.375), Patterson was stronger on her last three events, scoring 9.575 on uneven bars, 9.725 on the balance beam, and 9.712 on the floor exercise. She won the gold medal, only the second American woman to do so, and the first American woman to ever win the Olympic all-around title in a non-boycotted Olympic Games. Mary Lou Retton was the first American woman ever to win the title, at the 1984 Summer Olympics in Los Angeles, but because those Games were boycotted by the Soviet Union, meaning Retton did not face stiff competition from the Soviet gymnasts (who consistently dominated the sport during that period, accounting in 1984 for six of the seven previous Olympic all-around champions and nine of the ten previous World all-around champions[7][8]), Patterson's victory had a unique significance.

On August 23, 2004 she competed in the finals for the beam event where she received a score of 9.775 and won the silver medal behind Cătălina Ponor of Romania.

Leading up to the 2004 Olympic Games, she was prepared by her two former Soviet coaches: the famous Russian acrobat Evgeny Marchenko, who immigrated to the United States from Latvia after the dissolution of the Soviet Union, and Natalya Boyarskaya.

After Athens[edit]

Soon after the Olympic games ended, it was discovered that Patterson had several bulging disks in her lower back that had gone unnoticed. She announced her intention to take time off from the sport to rehabilitate her back, but she officially retired from the sport in 2006 without ever participating in another major competition. She recalled the decision in a 2009 interview, saying, "I started having some back issues, and honestly, my doctor was like, ‘Carly, you really need to stop if you want to be able to walk when you get older’....So I retired and moved on to singing.”[9] Her coach said in a TV interview[citation needed], "It's hard to top an all-around gold."

She stayed occupied with event appearances, gymnastics-related and otherwise. She also landed a number of high-profile corporate sponsorships; she appeared in a Mobile ESPN commercial aired during Super Bowl XL. She also finished her authorized biography, which was released in April 2006.

In December 2011, she was featured on the TV show Hollywood at Home.[10]

Carly Patterson teamed up with the Taylor's Gift Foundation as spokesperson for their 2012 organ donation challenge.


As of 2004, Carly Patterson commonly performed the following skills on each apparatus (based on 2013-2016 CoP).


5.8 Difficulty Start Value for the Vault

Double Twisting Yurchenko (round-off, backhandspring entry, double twisting layout)

Uneven Bars

5.4 Difficulty Start Value for the Routine

Glide Kip Cast to Handstand (KCH) on low bar + Toe-on 1/1 (D) + Stalder shoot up to high bar (C); KCH + Stalder 1/1 (D) + Giant 1.5 (D) + Giant 1/1 (C) + Tkatchev (D) + Pak Salto (D); KCH 1/2 + Toe-on shoot up to high bar (B); KCH + giant (B) + giant + Tucked Full-In Dismount (D)

Balance Beam

6.2 Difficulty Start Value for the Routine

Side Split Sit Mount (A); Standing Arabian (F); Front Aerial Walkover (D) + Flip Flop step-out (B) + Layout Step-Out (C); Front Tuck (D) + Sheep Jump (D); Full Turn (A); Switch Split Leap (C) + Back Tuck (C); Round-off (B) + Flip Flop two-feet (B) + Arabian Double Front Dismount (Patterson) (G)

Floor Exercise

5.2 Difficulty Start Value for the Routine

Straddle Jump 1/1 (Popa) (C) + Tuck Jump 2/1 (B); Round-off + Flip Flop two-feet + Tucked Full-In (E); Round-off + Flip Flop two-feet + Tucked Arabian Double Front (E); Switch Split Leap (B) + Split Leap 1/1 (C); Round-off + Flip Flop two-feet + Back Layout 5/2 (D) + Front Layout (B); Full Turn (A); Cat Leap 2/1 (B) + Cat Leap 3/2 (B); Round-off + Flip Flop two-feet + Double Pike (D)

Eponymous Skills[edit]

Apparatus Name Description Difficulty
Balance Beam Patterson Double back tucked Arabian salto G


Carly Patterson
Origin Allen, Texas, U.S.[citation needed]
Genres Rock, pop
Instruments Vocals
Years active 2007–present
Labels MusicMind Records

Patterson first expressed interest in becoming a professional singer in a March 2005 interview. On August 21, 2005, she gave an interview on Fox Sports Net's Sports Sunday in which she gave more details on her future career. She sang a small segment of "Damaged" and said that she went to New York City to record the demo. On December 18, 2005, she announced that she signed a demo contract for four songs with Papa Joe's Records, owned by Joe Simpson, father of Jessica and Ashlee Simpson. She worked with singer and writer Chris Megert. They wrote and produced songs titled "Time to Wake Up" and "Lost in Me".

Celebrity Duets[edit]

On August 29, 2006, she started her appearance on the show Celebrity Duets. The program was a reality competition show executive produced by Simon Cowell of American Idol fame. Celebrities, not known for singing, were teamed up with professional singers; one of the eight celebrities was voted off each week. The show aired every Thursday on Fox with a results show each Friday, from September 7, 2006 to October 13, 2006.

On September 15, 2006, during the results show, Patterson was eliminated from the competition (singing with Jesse McCartney). Patterson said that she would continue to sing. She also encouraged the audience to continue voting for the remaining celebrities because each vote raised money for charity.


On February 4, 2008, Patterson signed a recording contract with MusicMind Records, a Chicago based Indie label. Her single "Temporary Life (Ordinary Girl)" was released on iTunes on March 25, 2008. Her debut album Back to the Beginning was scheduled for release August 5, 2008, coincidentally, the same week as the start of the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. However, the CD was not released until more than a year later, on August 25, 2009, and in the interim, Patterson released another single, "Time to Wake Up," on iTunes on February 19, 2009. She currently as of July 2011 has a full-length album available on iTunes and

On September 10, 2008, a remixed version of Patterson's "Temporary Life (Ordinary Girl)" was played on the Bobby Bones Show. The mixed version featured the new artist Captain Caucasian, which is the pseudonym for Bobby Bones.

Patterson's song "Here I Am" was featured on the second season of the ABC Family series Make It or Break It, which is a television drama series that focuses on the lives of teen gymnasts who strive to make it to the Olympic Games.


Patterson made a cameo appearance at the end of the 2006 film Stick It, starring Missy Peregrym, Jeff Bridges, and Vanessa Lengies.

Personal life[edit]

On January 21, 2012, Patterson became engaged to strategy consultant Mark Caldwell.[11] They married on November 3, 2012 in Dallas, Texas.

Honors and awards[edit]

Patterson was chosen for the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 2009.[12]

See also[edit]


External links[edit]