Olympic gymnasts perform at Harbor Yard

Bethany Dionne

The Arena at Harbor Yard in Bridgeport was crowded with gymnastics fans Saturday night, for the 2004 TJMAXX Tour of Olympic Gymnastics Champions.

Artistic gymnasts, rhythmic gymnasts and trampolinists from the 2004 Athens Summer Olympics performed, “wowing” the crowd with their impressive stunts.

Olympic All-Around Gold medal winner, Carly Patterson, was one of the most popular gymnasts at the show. When she took the floor fans began chanting “Carly, Carly…” until she performed her first set on the balance beam.

Annia Hatch, a resident of West Haven and silver medal winner on the vault, was also popular with the crowd.

She executed a bar routine, and a floor exercise that made the crowd go wild.

The gymnasts performed a variety of group routines including one on the parallel bars in which two to three gymnasts would execute of series of synchronized moves together.

The floor exercises were split into female groups and male groups, and finished with a routine in which both male and female performed together.

Four balance beams were set up into a square, allowing up to four gymnasts to perform at the same time.

The male gymnasts demonstrated their strength on the rings, high bar and parallel bars, in synchronization. Similarly, the rhythmic gymnast showed their flexibility by flying through the air with balls, hoops and ribbons,

The trampoline, which was a new event in the Olympics this year, requires a gymnast to execute a series of jumps, flips and layouts using the least amounts of bounces possible. Performers have 90 seconds to complete their routine. Some of the gymnast created a “fun routine” in which three gymnasts bounced and flipped one after the other.

At the 2004 Olympics in Athens, the United States came home with nine medals, including two “Individual All-Around Golds”, won by Paul Hamm and Carly Patterson, who was the first U.S. female to win the title since 1984. The U.S. also took away two “Team Silvers,” won by both the men’s and women’s teams causing 2004 to be the most successful Olympic year for the Americans in 20 years.

Other gymnasts in the show included Jason Gatson, Mohini Bhardwaj, Brett McClure, Guard Young, Terin Humphrey. Silver medalist on the uneven bars at the individual event finals, Raj Bhavsar, and bronze medalist on the uneven bars at the individual event finals, Courtney Kuppets, also performed along with Steve McCain, Mary Sanders, Jennifer Parilla, Shenea Booth, Arthur Davis, and former Olympian and Master of Ceremonies, John Macready.