Spring enjoys change

DALLAS – It's gut-check time for Justin Spring.

Time for the 2008 Olympic bronze medalist to put a decision to leave competitive gymnastics to the ultimate emotional test. Time for the first-year Illinois head coach to make what's become an annual appearance at the Visa Championships, but this time to watch others vie for the gold medals he once earned.

5 O'Clock Shadow

News you can't leave work without:

Illinois is well represented at this week's U.S. Senior Men's division of the Visa Championships - the national championship meet for USA Gymnastics - in Dallas with Paul Ruggeri, Daniel Ribeiro and Luke Stannard in action.

Tate's Top 20

Bob Zuppke checks in as Loren Tate's greatest Illini coach of all time. Read on for the rest — and his explanation as to why he picked the way he did.

5 O'Clock Shadow

News you can't leave work without: Former Illini gymnast Abie Grossfeld will be inducted into the U.S. Olympic Hall of Fame

5 O'Clock Shadow

News you can't leave work without:

NCAA champions Angela Bizzarri and Paul Ruggeri have been named Dike Eddleman Award winners for 2008-09.

In his words: Male Athlete of the Year Paul Ruggeri

We asked men's Athlete of the Year Paul Ruggeri to describe why his time at Illinois is so special:

Spring will give up competition

CHAMPAIGN – It was an offer too good for Justin Spring to pass up. Even at the cost of ending his world- class gymnastics career and giving up a shot at competing in another Olympics.

"This was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity," Spring said Wednesday after being named associate head coach of the Illinois men's gymnastics team. "I'll miss (competing) from time to time, but when they asked me if this was something I'd be interested in, it was a no-brainer."

Illini Insider

Jeff Huth's review and preview of all things Illinois

Justin Spring gets promotion

CHAMPAIGN — Olympian Justin Spring today was promoted to associate head coach for Illinois men's gymnastics.

Spring, who will retire from competitive gymnastics, will  oversee the men's program previously run by Yoshi Hayasaki, who retired.

Returning Olympian Thies has seen a lot during her gymnastics career

SALEM, Ore. – It came to be known as Ping Pong Diplomacy, an acknowledgment of the role the sport played in the normalization of relations between two Cold War adversaries in the early 1970s.

It wasn't the only sport, however, that helped thaw an icy chill that then existed between the People's Republic of China and the United States. Urbana native Nancy Thies Marshall can attest to that because she lived it, participating in a historic meeting of the countries' gymnastics teams in May 1973 at New York's Madison Square Garden.