Olympic bronze medalist Justin Spring will be the guest of honor at 2012 Meet Me in St. Louis Open Invitational (gymnastic competition) both Saturday and Sunday to meet-and-greet gymnasts, watch their routines, talk about his experiences, help with awards and much more.
The nationwide competition is open to fans and spectators alike, at the , 16625 Swingley Ridge Rd., in Chesterfield.
Typically, more than 5,000 fans take in the event annually. Olympian Justin Spring will be available for autographs.
Patch is one of the mega-event's sponsors.
2012 Meet Me in St. Louis supplied the following profile of Spring and his winning career:
Spring is current Head Coach of the University of Illinois Men’s Gymnastics and an incredibly decorated college gymnast, former National Team member and a 2008 Olympic Bronze Medalist.
Finishing his collegiate career in 2006, Spring put together one of the best careers in Illinois gymnastics history.
The Virginia native is a four-time NCAA Champion, 2006 Big Ten Gymnast of the Year, and all-around winner at the 2006 Big Ten Championships.
He earned the prestigious Nissen-Emery Award, an honor given to the top senior male gymnast in the nation, and collected three All-Big Ten first team honors, six Big Ten Gymnast of the Week laurels and three Inside Gymnastics' NCAA Gymnast of the Week awards.
Spring left the Fighting Illini a 12-time All-American and continues to hold Illinois records on floor exercise, vault, parallel bars and high bar. Spring is also an eight-time U.S. Senior National Team member.
Spring had an amazing year in 2008 that culminated with winning a bronze medal with Team USA at the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Along with his teammates, Spring defied all odds as the U.S. men brought home the bronze medal and surprised everyone, except themselves.
Spring was spectacular during the team finals while leading the Americans to the improbable bronze. He scored 15.900 on vault in the second rotation, a team-leading 15.850 on parallel bars, a spectacular 15.675 on high bar, along with 15.200 on floor exercise in the three-up, three-count format.
Spring now looks forward to leading the Orange and Blue to Big Ten and NCAA Championship titles in his new role as Head Coach, University of Illinois Men’s Gymnastics. He is currently in his third season as head coach and sixth season overall with the Illinois men's gymnastics program.
Justin Spring résume at a glance:
- Coaching 2010-present Head Coach, University of Illinois Men's Gymnastics
- 2009-10 Associate Head Coach, University of Illinois Men's Gymnastics
- 2006-09 Assistant Coach, University of Illinois Men's Gymnastics
- Coaching Honors 2010 Central Region Coach of the Year 2010
- Big Ten Coach of the Year 2009 Central Region, Assistant Coach of the Year
- 2008 U.S. Olympic Team Member, Bronze Medal
- 2008 Visa U.S. Championships Gold Medalist, Parallel Bars
- Eight-time U.S. Senior National Team Member
- 2007 Pan American Games Team Member, Bronze Medal
- 2007 Pan American Gold Medalist, Parallel Bars
- 2007 Visa U.S. Championships Gold Medalist, High Bar
- 2007 Visa U.S. Championships Silver Medalist, Floor Exercise
- 2007 Moscow World Cup Silver Medalist, High Bar
- 2005 World Championships U.S. Team Member
- 2005 Visa U.S. Championships Gold Medalist, High Bar
- 2005 Winter Cup Champion, High Bar
- 2005 American Cup Silver Medalist, High Bar
- 2003 World University Games Team Member
- 2006 Nissen-Emery Award winner
- 2006 NCAA Parallel Bars Champion
- 2006 NCAA High Bar Co-Champion
- 2006 Big Ten Gymnast of the Year
- 2006 Big Ten Parallel Bars Champion
- 2006 Big Ten All-Around Champion
- 2005 U.S. National High Bar Champion
- 2005 NCAA Parallel Bars Champion
- 2004 NCAA High Bar Champion
- 2004 Big Ten Floor Exercise Champion
- 12-time All-American
- Three-time All-Big Ten Team Member
- Six-time Big Ten Gymnast of the Week
- Three-time Inside Gymnastics NCAA Gymnast of the Week
- Two-time UI Dike Eddleman Athlete of the Year (2004, 2006)
- Illinois School Record Holder (FX, VT, PB, HB)
- Two-Year Team Captain