Those who aren’t Gym Nerds tend to assume elite gymnasts only come pocket-sized and the Olympics are only a one time shot. While female gymnasts are arguably shorter than the average American adult woman, who is 5’3.8″according to the National Center for Health Statistics, what do the gymnastics facts say? GymCastic crew members, Taylor Anderson and Steven Leip compiled the repeats, heights and ages of Olympic gymnasts since 1972, and here’s what we found:
- Over 25% are 5’3″ or taller, very near or above the national average.
- At 4’6.5″ and age 14 in Atlanta, Dominique Moceanu was both the shortest and youngest Olympian on our list.
- At 5’4″ and age 18 in Munich, Joan Moore (Ashleigh Gnat’s mom) was the tallest, but not the oldest Olympian, on our list.
- There is no clear correlation between height and age.
- Since 1936 there have been 20 repeat Olympians for the United States. Out of these 20, 3 have been alternates once.
15 women were named to two teams in a row.
The two remaining gymnasts competed at 3 consecutive Olympic Games.
If Kyla hado made the 2016 team would she then be the tallest? I know she had a growth spurt and in the lineup she looked like a giant but she probably wasn’t more than 5’5.
I\’d like to see this list reordered with respect to career success (like World and Olympic medals won divided by number of those events attended or something); curious to see if there would be a height correlation there.
Dawes shrunk two inches between 92 and 96? Something seems off there…
LOL right? Fixing that now.
Her height stayed the same from 92-00? I could have sworn she grew in between olympics.
Gabby and Aly are about the same height, aren\’t they? They seem to switch places in the line-up daily. 3inches difference seems off…
That was Gabby’s height in 2012. She grew after that. She is hovering around the 5′ 2″ mark now.
Great article. Just a small fix: Rhonda Faehn was the alternate in 1988. Kristie Phillips didn\’t travel.
I would love to see an international list with ages and heights. Even if it was just one Olympics, or a few, rather than decades worth.
I would love to know how many gymnastics in Rio were shorter than 5′. I know there were quite a few shorter than Simone as 4′ 8″ and would love to see a list of shortest and tallest. Ages, not so interested, as we’ve discussed that in details before and kind of already know the youngest and oldest from 2016.