January 29, 2013 / 5:58 PM / 6 years ago

Gymnast Sacramone announces retirement

Alicia Sacramone of the U.S. celebrates on the podium with her gold medal after winning the women's vault finals at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Rotterdam October 23, 2010. REUTERS/Dylan Martinez

(Reuters) - Alicia Sacramone, one of the United States’ most decorated gymnasts with an American record 10 world championship medals, announced her retirement on Tuesday.

For nearly a decade Sacramone was a cornerstone of the U.S. women’s team, claiming two individual world titles (floor, 2005; vault, 2010) and team gold medals in 2007 and 2011.

She was also part of the silver medal winning squad at the 2008 Beijing Olympics but failed in her comeback to make the U.S. team for the 2012 London Games.

“Alicia was special, and determined to accomplish the goals she set for herself,” said Martha Karolyi, the women’s national team coordinator in a statement. “Alicia had a great career, full of success that was well earned.

“She also showed her strength of character by the dignified way she handled the moments that fell short of her goals.”

One of Sacramone’s biggest disappointments came when she narrowly failed to earn a spot on the five member U.S. team for the London Olympics after having fought her way back from a career threatening ruptured Achilles’ tendon.

Sacramone sustained the injury just prior to the 2011 world championships but was back competing at the 2012 Olympic trials finishing second on both the vault and balance beam.

“Alicia has had a major impact on women’s gymnastics,” said Steve Penny, president of USA Gymnastics. “Her personality, sense of humor and leadership skills were important ingredients in the success of our team.

“Alicia is a strong individual who knows what she wants and is not afraid to put herself out there to achieve it.”

Reporting by Steve Keating; editing by Julian Linden

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