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Turnbow, Donna — Gymnastics

Turnbow, Donna  — Gymnastics

Donna Turnbow was perhaps America’s top gymnast of the 1970s, and had a great chance of making the 1980 USA Olympic Team in Moscow but for the Olympic boycott. At age 14, she was the California State, Junior and Regional Champion and went on to be USA Junior Champion in the All-Around in 1974. She participated in the 1976 USA Olympic Gymnastics Trials while attending Mayfair High School and competing for Kips Gymnastics Club. After just missing the Olympics at age 16, she came back in 1977 to win the USA All-Around National Championship, taking individual national titles in the uneven bars and balance beam. Donna was the USA National all-around runner-up in 1978. She beat Nadia Comaneci on the uneven bars in the 1977 USA vs. Romania competition and placed 3rd in the All-Around competition held at the Louisiana Super Dome. She was selected for the American team for the 1978 World Gymnastics Championships and finished 5th in one of her many international trips representing the USA. Donna was selected the 1978 United States Gymnastics Federation Female Gymnast of the Year after becoming the first American to ever take first place in the World Championship all-around competition in London, held at Wembley Stadium.

Following the 1980 Olympics boycott, Donna decided to attend USC on a full gymnastics scholarship and competed for the Trojans four years before retiring at age 22. She led USC to a school best 5th place national finish at the 1980 AIAW Championships. Donna was inducted into the Orange County Jewish Sports Hall of Fame in 2010.

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