Terin Humphrey is ready to enjoy a life away from gymnastics.

“I’m officially retired,” said the former Bates City, Mo., resident, who trained at the Great American Gymnastic Express (GAGE) in Blue Springs and won a team and individual silver medal at the 2004 Summer Games in Greece.

Terin Humphrey is ready to enjoy a life away from gymnastics.
“I’m officially retired,” said the former Bates City, Mo., resident, who trained at the Great American Gymnastic Express (GAGE) in Blue Springs and won a team and individual silver medal at the 2004 Summer Games in Greece.
“I’m looking forward to just being a normal individual. I loved my time when I competed, but I’m also going to enjoy a life without spending eight hours a day in a gym.”
Humphrey was the feel-good story of the last Summer Olympics.
A long shot to even make the team, she placed second on the uneven bars – the highest finish by an American woman in the Olympics since Amy Chow took silver in the 1996 Olympics.
“That was a great time of my life,” said Humphrey, who returned to the states and appeared on “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno,” sat next to Nicolas Cage at the premier of “National Treasure,” and took part in a world tour with other members of the silver medal team.
She recalls the agonizing selection process, which for some reason, was televised nationally.
“That was horrible,” Humphrey said. “They kept showing the faces of the girls who didn’t get selected. And they’d show their families. It was really bad.
“When I was named, I couldn’t believe it. I was so happy. But I don’t think it should have been televised. I’m glad they didn’t do that this year.”
Humphrey was saddened when she heard GAGE gymnast Ivana Hong was not selected to this year’s gymnastics team, but was named one of three alternates.
“I have a word of advice for Ivana,” Humphrey said. “I was an alternate on the 2003 (U.S. national) team. One of the girls sprained an ankle and I moved up with the team and we won a world championship.
“I was disappointed to be an alternate, but I kept working hard and it paid off. I hope the same thing can happen for Ivana, although you never want anyone to get injured.”
After winning two Olympic medals, that are stored at her parent’s new home outside of St. Joseph, Mo., Humphrey graduated from Odessa High School and then left for the University of Alabama.
In 2005, her freshman season, Humphrey helped her team claim second place in the NCAA Tournament and she won the NCAA uneven bars individual national championship.
“That was fun,” she said, “but I did have a couple of silver medals at home so it wasn’t the most exciting moment of my life. But gymnastics is huge at Alabama. We have 15,000 at our meets and it was exciting - but nothing can top winning a medal at the Olympics.”
In mid 2006, Humphrey underwent surgery on both elbows. After a full recovery, she competed throughout the 2006-07 season.
Although Alabama failed to qualify for the Super Six for the first time in over a decade, Humphrey again starred and won her second uneven bars title.
She did not compete as a senior, as she suffered from a back ailment that simply never healed.
“We really don’t know what it was,” she said. “Doctors kept looking at me, and it never got better. It was time to say goodbye and get on with my life.”
She officially retired from the sport she once dominated this past March.
Humphrey will graduate with a criminal justice degree in December.
“I’m no sure what I want to do,” she said. “I’ve been working in a law office in Tuscaloosa, Ala., and love that. So I might go to law school.
“I do know that I’m going to do all the things I never got to do while I was competing. I just got off a Sea-Do and spent all afternoon skiing. I’ve  been horseback riding and eating pizza – I’ve been having a blast.”