Beckerman was a member of the United States women's gymnastics team at the 2000 Sydney Olympics; she made the team as an alternate and did not compete. At the U.S. Olympic Trials, she finished in eighth place, but made the team when the selection committee chose her over two-time Olympian Shannon Miller, who withdrew due to injury. Beckerman later said that the biggest thrill was walking out on the floor and hearing her name announced as part of the 2000 Olympic Team. The U.S. team came away empty-handed from the Sydney Games, the first time since 1972 that no American female gymnast won a medal (excluding the 1980 Moscow Games, which the U.S. boycotted).
Beckerman began her gymnastics career at the age of five. In 1997, she finished 20th in the all-around at the U.S. Championships, and then placed eighth in the all-around the following year. A three-year member of the U.S. National Team (1997-2000), Alyssa finished second in the all-around at the 1998 Ecoair Gymnastics Cup in only her second international competition.
In 1999, she helped the U.S. finish second at the International Team Championships, second at the Pan American Games, and sixth at the World Championships. In 2000, Beckerman won the all-around at the Spieth Sopiga in Brazil and had an excellent performance at the U.S. Championships, finishing first in the balance beam, second in the uneven bars, and fifth in the all-around.
Alyssa enrolled at the University of California-Los Angeles in 2000 and is a member of the school's gymnastics team. During the 2000-01 season, she competed in the beam at three meets for UCLA; her best score was a 9.875 in a meet with Arizona State.
As a sophomore in 2001-02, Beckerman excelled in the balance beam and was the Pac 10 co-champion, NCAA South Central Regional co-champion, and finished seventh in the event at the 2002 NCAA Championships. That year, Alyssa was named first team All-America and first team All-Pac 10 in the beam. She was also named honorable mention All-Academic Pac 10.
Beckerman returned to UCLA for her junior year in 2002-03 and helped lead the Bruins to the NCAA Championship. Unfortunately, she missed the NCAA tournament after she dislocated her knee during the floor exercise in a meet against Michigan late in the year. Beckerman was named honorable mention All-Academic Pac 10 for the second consecutive year. Following the season, Beckerman retired from competitive gymnastics.
Birth and Death Dates:
b. Jan. 23, 1981
Use links below to navigate through the olympics section of Jews In Sports.
Jewish Sports Review, September/October 2000 issue (Vol. 2, No. 8, Issue 21)