Olympic Gymnastics 2012: Key Coaches for USA Women's and Men's Squads

Ben ChodosCorrespondent IIAugust 1, 2012

LLUIS GENE/Getty Images
LLUIS GENE/Getty Images

The United States has quality coaches and colorful characters looking after both its men’s and women’s gymnastics programs at the 2012 London Olympics.

While the men are looking to rebound following their disappointing loss on Monday, the Fab Five excelled on Day 4 by taking home gold in their team final.

Technique is of paramount importance in gymnastics, and expert advice is need to teach the correct form and help the athletes get into the right mindset to properly execute.

Here are the men and women behind the scenes for Team USA’s gymnasts.


Kevin Mazeika, Men’s Head Coach 

This is the third consecutive Olympics in which Mazeika will be the men’s head coach.

If something is not broken, it is a terrible idea to try to fix it. The men won the silver medal at the Athens 2004 games and took bronze in Beijing four years later.

The men's team competition did not go as planned, but Mazeika will continue to be one of the top coaches in the sport.

Mazeika is experienced and successful and was the obvious choice to coach the team.


Tom Meadows, Men’s Assistant Head Coach

Meadows is the personal coach for Jonathan Horton, a member of the Olympic squad, but he will also serve as the assistant coach during the team competition.

Meadows, like Mazeika, is a Houston native and a major player in the city’s booming gymnastics scene.

He helped Horton to a bronze medal in the all-around competition at the 2010 World Championships, and he will be looking for more success this time around. 

Meadows, like Mazeika, will bring knowledge and a history of winning to the men, and this will help them significantly in London with the individual events.


Liang Chow, Gabby Douglas’ Coach 

Shawn Johnson was the other member of the United States women’s gymnastics team who made a name for herself in Beijing. She has retired due to a knee injury, but Liang Chow, her coach in 2008, is in London.

Johnson was 16 years old when she walked away from the last Olympics with four medals, and now Chow will try and coach Gabby Douglas, also 16, to similar success.

Douglas is one of the American’s stars in this Olympics. She has already won a team gold, but the teenager will need her coach to help keep her focused and on even keel for individual success.

Johnson showed maturity far beyond her age in Beijing, and with Chow’s guidance, Douglas will likely do the same.