Former Illini gymnast Justin Spring is in Beijing preparing for the upcoming Olympic Games. Here's the latest from one of the finest athletes in UI history, who is providing a diary for The News-Gazette:
During the Olympics, former UI gymnast Justin Spring will write an occasional diary for The News-Gazette.
Today I arrived at the processing center at San Jose State in California with two other members of the team. The USOC flew me in a day early because we have to go through processing and an ambassador’s class early (this) morning.
Former Illini gymnast and assistant coach Butch Zunich will serve as a judge in the Beijing Olympics.
NORMAL – Michael McCuskey is the new president of the board of trustees of Illinois State University.
McCuskey, chief judge for the U.S. Central District of Illinois, was elected to the post Friday. He was appointed an ISU trustee in 2005.
URBANA – Within his biographical page on the USA Gymnastics Web site, Justin Spring identifies his favorite foods as steak and fish.
Then, the former Illinois All-American offers this dietary addendum: "I'll eat pretty much anything, though."
Former Illinois gymnast and current Illini assistant Justin Spring was selected to the U.S. men's Olympic team on Sunday a day after the U.S. Olympic Trials in Philadelphia.
Combined scores from four days of competition at the U.S. Championships and Olympic Trials put Spring in first place on parallel bars, second on vault, third on high bar and seventh on rings.
CHAMPAIGN – Cub Scout Randy Janson, 9, set a big goal for himself: to sell more popcorn than any other scout in the Midwest.
Randy, who will be a fourth-grader at Barkstall Elementary School in Champaign this fall, sold $12,635 worth of popcorn as part of a fundraiser for his Cub Scout group.
CHAMPAIGN – Former Illini Justin Spring has gained a reputation in the gymnastics community as being a high-risk, high-reward competitor.
When he succeeds in one of his spectacular routines, the payoff can be enormous. But when he fails, the downside is significant.
HOUSTON – Former Illini Justin Spring, trying to make his country's gymnastics team at the Beijing Games, won the parallel bars at Saturday's U.S. Championships.
Spring, a current Illini assistant coach, had a combined score from the two days of competition of 30.900 on the event to take top honors. This is Spring's third national title, with his other two gold medals coming on high bar in 2005 and 2007.
HOUSTON – Former Illini and current Illinois assistant Justin Spring took the first step in his bid to compete in the 2008 Summer Olympics on Thursday with a strong showing in the parallel bars and high bar at the U.S. gymnastics championships.
Spring scored 15.350 on the parallel bars, good for third place. Spring's mark is 0.150 off defending national champion David Durante's leading score on the apparatus.