Born in 1952 in Long Beach, California, Cathy Rigby was a popular American gymnast whose fame extended beyond the sport. The highest scoring American gymnast at the Mexico City Olympic Games of 1968, Rigby’s sporting prowess was beyond reproach. She followed her ’68 Olympic performance with United States National Championships in 1970 and 1972. Fun fact? In 1974, Rigby moved from sport to the theatre, when she headlined a tour of Peter Pan!
Thanks to the Steve Wennerstrom Papers, we have a series of clippings and photographs on Rigby’s career. When Steve became a women’s track and field coach in the late 1970s he was inspired by the training regimen of the athletes in the then nascent sport of women’s bodybuilding and incorporated weight training into his athletes’ preparation rigors. It was this interest which explains his collection of Rigby ephemera.
The photograph here depicts Rigby standing near the uneven bars about to perform. You can see the intensity in her eyes as she visualizes her upcoming routine.