In honor of the upcoming Visa Championships hosted in St. Paul, Minnesota August 17-20, gymnast of the week will be featuring former U.S. National Champions. This week’s gymnast is Cathy Rigby, the 1970 and 1972 National Champion.
Rigby began her gymnastics career at a young age, and first hit the international gymnastics scene at the young age of 15 in the 1968 Olympics. While she did not place at the 1968 Olympics, she did compete in the 1968 World Cup where she won the gold medal and became the World Cup Champion.
She went on to compete in the 1970 National Championships, where she won the gold medal in the all-around. At the 1970 World Championships, she won the silver medal on balance beam, becoming the first U.S. female to win a medal at the world championships. At the 1971 World Cup Rigby swept the competition, winning the gold medal on all four the individual events, as well as the all-around.
In 1972 Rigby again won the U.S. Championships, as well as the gold medal on uneven bars, silver on floor, and bronze balance beam. She also was a member of the 1972 Olympic team, but due to an injury, was unable to compete full routines.
After the 1972 Olympics, Rigby retired from gymnastics. She married a professional football player, whom she later separated from, ran a gymnastics camp, had two sons, and began her ever-so-famous acting career. In 1974 she appeared as Peter Pan in a touring production, and then later on Broadway and toured throughout the 1990s. She was nominated for a Tony Award, Best Leading Actress in a Musical for her performance as Peter Pan in 1990-91. After her acting career, she worked as a commentator for ABC Sports.
While performing on Broadway, Rigby met her second husband, Tom McCoy. Rigby and McCoy currently own McCoy Rigby Entertainment, which produces a touring Peter Pan show. Though now more known for her appearance as Peter Pan, Rigby was inducted into the International Gymnastics Hall of Fame in 1998.
Check out Riby's World Championship balance beam routine that won her the silver medal.