Samantha Nicole "Sam" Peszek (born December 14, 1991 in Indianapolis, Indiana) is an American national team gymnast. She was a member of the United States' 2008 Olympic women's gymnastics team.
In 2007, Peszek competed on the gold medal-winning U.S. team at the 2007 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships and the 2007 Pan American Games.
In March 2008, she competed at the American Cup. She placed 3rd in the all-around competition, behind teammates Nastia Liukin and Shawn Johnson.
After a solid performance at the 2008 U.S. National Championships, Peszek continued to prove her worth to the U.S. team at the Olympic Trials. At the conclusion of the meet, when she was invited to the final Olympic selection camp, most experts, including NBC's analysts, predicted she would be selected for the team. Indeed, she was selected on July 19, 2008 at the conclusion of the selection camp in New Waverly, Texas. Along with Peszek, Shawn Johnson, Nastia Liukin, Chellsie Memmel, Alicia Sacramone, and Bridget Sloan were selected for the team.
During the 2008 Summer Olympics, Peszek was injured during warm-ups just minutes before the women's qualifier and was restricted to the Uneven Bars. She was the second gymnast to be injured on the 2008 Women's gymnastics Olympic team, the other being Chellsie Memmel After the Beijing Olympics, Samantha expressed her desire to continue her elite gymnastics career.
After letting her ankle heal Samantha competed for the first time after the Olympics at the 2009 CoverGirl Classic, where she competed only vault and beam, where she placed 2nd and 9th. She then decided to compete at the VISA Championships with hopes of making the world team as a 3-event specialist, due to a torn labrum in her shoulder she was waiting until after the World Championships to have surgery on. During the Championships she placed 2nd on beam and 7th on floor. Samantha was then added to the US National Team and made it to the 2nd and final selection camp, during which she pulled out and decided to get her torn labrum fixed. She signed with UCLA and has expressed a desire to compete at both NCAA and Elite gymnastics at the same time. In 2011, she won the balance beam title at the NCAA Women's Gymnastics championship with a routine including a full twisting tucked backs somersault, a very difficult and rare skill even in elite gymnastics.
At the 2013 National Championships in August, Peszek was inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame with the rest of the 2007 World Championship team.
Peszek is from McCordsville, Indiana. She is Catholic and graduated from Cathedral High School in 2010. She also attended St. Simon the Apostle Grade School where she got high honors.
After Beijing, Peter Zhao, Peszek's long-time coach at DeVeau's School of Gymnastics, retired from coaching and returned to China to help with his family business. Peszek transferred to Sharp's Gymnastics Academy. She currently trains alongside Olympic teammate Bridget Sloan.
In April 2009 Peszek announced on her Twitter that she had committed to UCLA to compete in NCAA gymnastics for the Bruins. She was the first of the 2008 US Women's Gymnastics team, apart from former collegiate athlete Alicia Sacramone, to announce NCAA intent.
|2004||Junior Olympic Level 10 National Championships||2nd||2nd||2nd||2nd||7|
|Junior U.S. Classic||11||7||10|
|Junior Visa Championships||8||3rd||10||9|
|2005||Junior U.S. Classic||8||2nd||3rd|
|Junior Visa Championships||7||1st||2nd|
|Mexican International Invitational||1st||1st||1st||1st|
|Junior Pan American Championships||1st||4||2nd||1st|
|Junior U.S. Classic||2nd||1st||4||2nd||1st|
|Junior Visa Championships||3rd||2nd||3rd||7||5|
|2007||USA vs Great Britain International Competition||1st||3rd||1st||2nd||1st|
|Rio de Janeiro Pan American Games||1st|
|Stuttgart World Championships||1st|
|City of Jesolo Trophy||1st||3rd|
|U.S. Olympic Trials||4||4||6||4||1st|
|Beijing Olympic Games||2nd|
|2011||NCAA Gymnastics Championships||2nd||1st|
|2012||NCAA Gymnastics Championships||3rd||7|
2005-2006 - "Tale VII (Vivo Con Fuoco" by Goran Bregovic
2007 - "My Number One" by Helena Paparizou