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Yurchenko, Li Among 2014 IGHOF Class
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Gymnastics legends Li Yuejiu (China), Klaus Köste (Germany), Natalia Yurchenko (Russia), and Jackie Fie (USA) will be inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame on May 17 in Oklahoma City.

Renowned ABC Wide World of Sports television commentator Gordon Maddux will receive the Frank Bare Award for his contributions and promotions of gymnastics.

"It is going to be an emotional night to have so many of our sport’s true 'game-changers' all in one room," said Bart Conner, chairman of the IGHOF board.


Natalia Yurchenko

Li was China's first male world champion, winning floor exercise at the 1981 World Championships in Moscow. He was one of the first gymnasts to compete a double-twisting double back on floor exercise, and also has his own difficult tumbling move named after him (straddled side-in, quarter turn to forward roll-out). He moved to the United States after winning a silver medal at the 1984 Olympic Games and began a coaching career. He went back to China to assist the women's team in the quadrennium prior to the Beijing Olympic Games; he helped coached the Chinese women to their first world team title in 2006 and first Olympic team title in 2008. He continues to coach in Illinois today along with wife, fellow 1984 Olympian Wu Jiani. Their daughter Anna Li was an alternate to the 2012 U.S. Olympic team.

Köste, who will be inducted in memoriam, was a three-time Olympian and the 1972 Olympic vault champion. He was a member of East Germany's bronze medal-winning team at the 1964, 1968 and 1972 Olympic Games. He won high bar at the 1971 and 1973 European Championships, and in total he amassed 34 national titles. After retiring from an Achilles injury in 1974, he served as coach of the East German women's national team and coached for many years. He continued to stay active in gymnastics, competing in Germany's senior league until shortly before his death in 2012.

Yurchenko was a pioneer in the sport of gymnastics, inventing her eponymous vault of roundoff onto the board and back handspring onto the vaulting horse. She also has two moves named after her on balance beam (roundoff, layout stepout onto the beam and sideways back handspring to hip circle around the beam). She won the all-around title at the 1983 World Championships and 1982 World Cup, and back-to-back team world titles in 1983 and 1985. The Soviet boycott of the 1984 Olympic Games prevented her from competing in Los Angeles, but she won the team and vault golds at the Alternate Games in Olomouc. She is married to Igor Sklyarov, an Olympic champion in soccer with the Soviet team at the 1988 Olympic Games in Seoul. She also lives and coaches in Illinois.

Fie, a member of the U.S. team at the 1956 Olympic Games in Melbourne, went on to judge for decades afterward. She served on the board of directors for the U.S. Gymnastics Federation from 1964-2004, and eventually became president of the FIG Women's Technical Committee from 1992-2004. During her tenure as WTC President, she implemented the Judges Objectivity Evaluation system, which, for the first time, added a level of accountability throughout the judging ranks. As a result of her diligence, Fie established a new, higher standard for judges worldwide.

All the members of the 1984 U.S. Olympic men's team will be present, to celebrate the 30th anniversary of their historic team gold medal from Los Angeles.

Over the past 17 years, 81 of gymnastics greatest stars and contributors, representing 21 countries, have been formally inducted into the Hall of Fame.

The International Gymnastics Hall of Fame continues to preserve, promote and share the achievements of the sport's greatest legends, with the IGHOF exhibit at the Science Museum Oklahoma in the Adventure District in Oklahoma City. Visitors can try out gymnastics equipment, view portraits of all inductees, see sculptures, paintings and memorabilia, and use the video kiosk to study the videos and careers of the international gymnastics stars.

"Our goal is to preserve the legacies of these international gymnastics legends, and use their stories of achievement to inspire future generations," Conner said.

For more information about the IGHOF and how you can be a member or donor, visit www.ighof.com. For tickets to the IGHOF dinner ceremony, contact Lynn Landis at 405-364-5344.

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