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Sean Townsend Biography
Vital Statistics:

Name: Sean Townsend

Birthday: January 20, 1979 at Temple, Texas

Hometown: Dallas, Texas

Residence: Houston, Texas

Club: Houston Gymnastics Academy (Team Texaco) Coach: Kevin Mazeika

Began Gymnastics: 1988

College: San Jacinto Community College

Hobbies: Listening to his enourmous CD Collection, playing Playstation, Watching TV, Pool, Hanging out with friends, Sleeping

Favorite TV Shows: Simpsons and Friends

Favorite Event: High Bar

Trainning Schedule: 12-3 or 3:30-6:30 M-S (varies)

Years on Sr. National Team: 3 (1998--01)
Years on Jr. National Team: 2 (1995-96, 1997-98)
Body Shot of Sean Townsend
Above: A candid shot of Sean Townsend
at the 2000 US Olympic Trials.
Photography is by Lex Trotter.

A Brief (well, sort of) Timeline of Sean's Life:


Above: Sean's
Handspring 2 1/2 Front
Photography by
International Gymnast
After the 2000 Summer Olympics held in Sydney, Australia, Sean Townsend has become the gymnast to watch for in the years to come. He is known as an "explosive" and "powerful" gymnast showing incredible 10.00 start vaults such a handspring 2 1/2 front during the prelims at the Olympics. With intricate skills, polished form, and amplittude on each apparatus, Sean Townsend easily becomes an icon for many gymnast fans to adore and follow.

Inspired by the 1988 Seoul Summer Olympics, he began gymnastics that year at age nine. He began training in Dallas, Texas, but later moved to Houston at age 14. There, he joined national team coach Kevin Mazeika at the Texas Sports Ranch. Moving to the Sports Ranch gave him an opportunity to be exposed to other talented gymnasts such as Todd Thorton, who also happens to be his host family while he lives in Houston to train. Later, Sean, his coach, and fellow clubmates moved to the Houston Academy of Gymnastics where they train under the team name "Texaco," a leading supporter of the National Men's Gymnastics program.

His breakthrough year was the year he made the World Championship team that was set to compete in Tianjin, China. Although he did not compete in all six event, which utimately made him unable to compete for the All-Around, he still says that he gained a lot of experience. The World Championships for Sean turned out to be a totally different atmposhere than he expected. He thought it would just be "be another normal meet" but he describes it as being "intense, especially the crowd." Sean and his teammates placed a respective 6th with plenty of room to improve before the 2000 Summer Olympics. Sean, who always looks for the positive in situations was not dissappointed in their team result at the '99 World Champsionships. "Our plan was to go out there, stick together and have fun, and we did that. We didn't really care what the outcome was as long as we got into finals, which is what we did,"stated Townsend in an interview for International Gymnast.

With this positive attitude, and newfound confidence and experiece he gained at the '99 Worlds, Sean was ready to embark a trip to the Olympics. Even when the team goal entering the Olympics was to win the Bronze Medal, Sean optimistically states "I don't think it's a failure [if we don't medal], but they're expecting us to medal. [If we're fourth] and we fall apart then that's a disappointment, but if we hit everything, then that's the best we could have done. In 2000, Sean was set to make the Olympic. He would have to place in the All-Around Top 4 to ensure he makes the teams. At the Olympic Trials held in Boston, he placed 3rd which automatically sealed him a spot on the team.


Left to Right: Paul and Morgan Hamm, Steven McCain,
John Rothlisberger, Sean Townsend, Blaine Wilson,
alternate Jamie Natelie make 2000 US Olympic Team.
Photography is USA Gymnastics
And so Sean traveled to Sydney, Australia to help his US team obtain their goal. When he first mounted the competition floor, Sean explained how "It was awsome. I walked out there and I was really nervous and shaky. I was looking around like 'man this is it right here- this is what I've waited my whole life for.' I had a good meet. I was the first person up." Sure enough, Mr. Townsend had a good meet, especially his first touch at the vault the first day with a handspring 2 1/2 front that was executed near flawlessly. By the Team Final, Team US found themselves in the hunt for an Olympic Bronze medal. On their final apparatus, Sean Townsend executed yet another, explosive, near flawless high bar r outine, after missing his handspring 2 1/2 front that night. However, their goal was soon shattered after two unexpected falls from the high bar by his other team members. In the end, the US men placed 5th behind China, Ukraine, Russia, and Japan.


Above: Sean on tour
Understandly, Sean and his teammates have reason to be dissappointed. However, Sean walks away from Sydney with more motivation then dissapointment. When asked what were his goals for Athens 2004 he states "Medals. We need to bring home some medals for the USA. I don't care if it's team or individual- we just need to bring them home."

After the Olympics Sean participated an Olympic tour that featured stars like Shannon Miller. "It was the best time of my life. It was a blast," he happily stated to an interviewer.

With this being said and done, Sean Townsend has a bright future ahead of him. At the beginning of the 2001 season, he placed 2nd in his first international meet which only can allude to more success in the years to come. "If you have a goal or a dream, always stick with it. That is the main thing- never ever give up. Even if you don't make your goal then make another one and go for it," encourages Townsend.



................................................................................................................................................................:Family


Sean's Brother Todd
Above: Todd Thornton,
Sean's Brother.
After leaving home at te age of 14, Sean has developed two sets of families. His immediate family would include his father, Frost, whose profession is a long haul truck driver. He has a sister, Tiffany, who at the moment, is a student. The family in which he lives with in Houston would include his clubmate and "brother" Todd Thorton. There, Sean lives with Todd's mother Cindy Thorton, and her five sons. During the Olympics, Cindy, two of her sons, and Tiffany, traveled to Sydney to support Sean in his quest for success. After the 2000 Olympics, Sean plans to move out and find a place of his own.




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