Barrier-breaking gymnast Dianne Durham forever changed the landscape of her sport, and the late athlete will be posthumously honored for her contributions to gymnastics. According to ESPN, Durham will be inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame.
The Gary, Indiana native made history in 1983 by becoming the first Black gymnast to take home the all-around senior title at the women’s US National Championships. A year prior to her historic accomplishment she took home the junior national title. She was primed to compete in the 1984 Olympics but ended up being sidelined due to an injury and other matters that prevented her from being on the team. After retiring from gymnastics at 16-years-old, she set out on a mission to educate and empower gymnasts who were following in her footsteps and founded Skyline Gymnastics in Chicago.
Throughout her entire career, the jubilant gymnast used her talent and personality to leave an indelible mark on the sport and paved the way for champions like Dominique Dawes, Gabby Douglas and Simone Biles. Durham passed away in February, but her legacy has been upheld by a new wave of phenomenal gymnasts. “While our community continues to mourn Dianne’s passing, her trailblazing legacy lives on each day in gyms across the country,” Li Li Leung, USA Gymnastics President, said in a statement. “We could not be more pleased that the Hall of Fame Committee has chosen to memorialize Dianne’s significant and lasting contribution to our sport in this special way.”
Durham is slated to be inducted on June 26. Other members of the 2021 class include gymnast Rebecca Bross and the 2004 U.S. men’s Olympic team.