Strug began training in gymnastics at the age of three. She began competing in gymnastics at the age of eight. Her sister Lisa was already competing in gymnastics at the time that Strug was born. Strug was trained by American coach Jim Gault until January 1991, when she moved to Houston, Texas to train with coach Béla Károlyi. At that time, she also joined the United States National Team. In 1992, at age 14, she won a team bronze medal at the Barcelona Olympics, at which she was the youngest member of the entire U. S. team. Throughout the Team Compulsories and Optionals, she and Kim Zmeskal competed for the final US available spot to compete in the all-around. She was eventually edged out by Zmeskal, with Shannon Miller and Betty Okino as the other two American gymnasts to qualify for the all-around.
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