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Julissa D'anne Gomez

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Julissa D'anne Gomez Famous memorial

Birth
San Antonio, Bexar County, Texas, USA
Death
8 Aug 1991 (aged 18)
Houston, Harris County, Texas, USA
Burial
Houston, Harris County, Texas, USA Add to Map
Plot
Cupid's Heart, Block 1, Lot 80, Space 11
Memorial ID
View Source
Olympic Gymnast. Born in San Antonio, Texas, and trained since the age of ten by Bela Karolyi and Al Fong, Julissa was a growing star in the field of women's gymnastics. Her career and life came to an end when she went to Tokyo, Japan to compete in the 1988 Worlds Sports Fair, just prior to the 1988 US Olympic Trials. She performed well on the first day, and qualified for the vault finals. The next day, while warming up for the final vault competition, Julissa was practicing her weakest vault, the difficult and dangerous Yurchanko Vault, when she missed the springboard, hitting her head on the vaulting horse and breaking her neck. Although paralyzed from the neck down, she was immediately transported to a Japanese hospital, and placed on a respirator. A week later, doctors performed a tracheotomy to help her breathe on her own, although she remained on the respirator with oxygen supplied to her. The day before she was to return to the US, a second accident resulted in her being disconnected from her respirator and oxygen supply overnight, when nurses found her, she was in a coma with considerable brain damage. She remained in a catatonic state for the next three years, with her family caring for her most of the time. In August 1991, she contracted an infection and passed away. Due to her accident, major changes were made in the equipment: the vaulting horse was replaced with a vaulting table, and the springboard was modified to prevent this type of accident from happening again. But the most important change was to the code of points; anyone attempting the Yurchanko Vault without the new equipment would be given an automatic score of zero.
Olympic Gymnast. Born in San Antonio, Texas, and trained since the age of ten by Bela Karolyi and Al Fong, Julissa was a growing star in the field of women's gymnastics. Her career and life came to an end when she went to Tokyo, Japan to compete in the 1988 Worlds Sports Fair, just prior to the 1988 US Olympic Trials. She performed well on the first day, and qualified for the vault finals. The next day, while warming up for the final vault competition, Julissa was practicing her weakest vault, the difficult and dangerous Yurchanko Vault, when she missed the springboard, hitting her head on the vaulting horse and breaking her neck. Although paralyzed from the neck down, she was immediately transported to a Japanese hospital, and placed on a respirator. A week later, doctors performed a tracheotomy to help her breathe on her own, although she remained on the respirator with oxygen supplied to her. The day before she was to return to the US, a second accident resulted in her being disconnected from her respirator and oxygen supply overnight, when nurses found her, she was in a coma with considerable brain damage. She remained in a catatonic state for the next three years, with her family caring for her most of the time. In August 1991, she contracted an infection and passed away. Due to her accident, major changes were made in the equipment: the vaulting horse was replaced with a vaulting table, and the springboard was modified to prevent this type of accident from happening again. But the most important change was to the code of points; anyone attempting the Yurchanko Vault without the new equipment would be given an automatic score of zero.

Bio by: Douglas W. Crute Jr


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