Shalom Life | April 23, 2014

Interviews with 'Top Jews In Sports'- Mitch Gaylord

On Day 7 we bring you Mitch Gaylord- the first American to achieve a Perfect 10.

By: Ashley Baylen

Published: September 8th, 2011 in Culture » Society » Interviews

Interviews with 'Top Jews In Sports'- Mitch Gaylord

After the success of both our Top Jewish Artists and Top Jewish Models series, we have decided to bring you “Top Jews In Sports”. Over the next couple weeks, a new sports figure will be featured each day.

Since the previous format of asking all participants the same questions was so popular, we have decided to carry that over to this feature as well. Enjoy.

Day 7- Mitch Gaylord

Mitch Gaylord first thrilled the world in 1984 when he led the United States Olympic gymnastics team to its Gold Medal victory. In addition to being the first American Gymnast in history to score a Perfect “10″, Mitch went on to capture a Silver medal for Vaulting and two Bronze medals for Rings and Parallel Bars. As the number one ranked gymnast in 1983 and 1984, Mitch invented two skills now named internationally after him. To this day, the Gaylord Flip and the Gaylord Two are considered among the most difficult and spectacular feats in gymnastics.

After the Olympics, Mitch was appointed to the President’s Council for Physical Fitness by President Reagan and was asked to return for a second term under President George Bush, Senior. During this time, he fulfilled numerous speaking engagements, endorsements and appearances across the country. In 1986, Mitch made his acting debut in Columbia Pictures’ “American Anthem” and went on to appear in several commercial advertisements including Diet Coke, Nike, Vidal Sassoon, Soloflex, Levi’s, and Texaco to name a few.

In 1995, he was inducted into UCLA’s Hall of Fame, and in 2006, he was inducted into the US Olympic Hall of Fame. Mitch has served as a journalist/broadcaster for FOX Sports during the Atlanta Olympics and anchored the 2009 Maccabiah Games in Israel with JLTV. He has also served as a Celebrity Judge on NBC’s “Celebrity Circus”.

As a motivational speaker and fitness expert, Mitch was asked to endorse several fitness products for the DRTV market including Suzanne Somers’ “Torso Track” and “Body Row”, as well as, “OrbiTrek Platinum” for Thane International.

With a strong entrepreneurial spirit, Mitch went on to create Gold Medal Fitness, LLC and the “Melt it OFF! with Mitch” workout program, which has been on-air for the last four years. It was through this project he personally motivated, trained, and inspired over 100 people to achieve their health and fitness goals by teaching them to Embrace their Greatness.

Mitch resides in Fort Worth, Texas with his beautiful wife, Valentina and is a dedicated Husband and Father to their children.

Mitch Gaylord has been motivating and inspiring audiences worldwide for over 26 years, speaking to Fortune 500 Companies, Associations, and Students across the country. His personal mission is to inspire others to greatness through his presentations and products.

For more info on Mitch or to book him for an appearance, please visit www.mitchgaylord.com

Ashley Baylen (AB): Was there a moment when you realized this would be a career instead of a hobby or passion?

Mitch Gaylord (MG) I started gymnastics at 12 years old and it was purely for the fun of it. I really didn’t get serious about going to the Olympics until I competed nationally for the first time in 1979. I was a high school senior and was at the Jr. Nationals in West Point, NY. My whole family came out to cheer me on. I remember being so nervous and intimidated by the big names in the sport, that I completely lost focus and choked. This really tough experience served as a turning point for me to never let myself down again, and do what it takes to compete at the higher levels. Even though I continued to have ‘fun’ with gymnastics, my training took on a whole new level and I knew I was committed to achieving my goal of going to the ’84 Games.


AB: In your weak moments, what food item do you allow yourself to pig out on?

MG: My ‘go-to’ food when I choose not to eat healthy has always been, and still is to this day fast food. Believe it or not, back in the early ‘80’s we didn’t follow strict diets (like the athletes do today) and I would make plenty of midnight runs to Taco Bell, Jack in the Box, McDonalds, etc… Nowadays, I’m much more health conscious and keep the fast food to a minimum.


AB: When you’re not working, what do you enjoy doing?

MG: Being with my family, going on hikes, swimming, traveling.


AB: Rapid fire. First thing that comes to mind. What your favorite movie?

MG: The Deer Hunter (Drama), Austin Powers (Comedy)


AB: Band?

MG: U2

AB: Book?

MG:Awaken the Giant Within (Anthony Robbins)

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