Annia Portuondo Hatch
(born June 14, 1978 in Guantánamo
) is a Cuban-American gymnast
who competed for the United States at the 2004 Olympics
Hatch began gymnastics in her native Cuba at the age of five. She won her first Cuban National Championships at the age of ten; over the course of her career she would win the title a total of seven times.
Competing for Cuba, Hatch made her debut at the World Gymnastics Championships
in 1993. She placed tenth in the all-around. In 1995 she picked up three medals at the Pan Am Games
, placing fourth in the all-around, second on the balance beam
, and third on the vault
and uneven bars
. The following year, in 1996, she became the first Cuban gymnast ever to win a medal at the World Championships with a bronze on the vault. The result, however, was controversial, as many experts believed Annia's performance merited the gold medal over Romania's Gina Gogean and Simona Amanar.
Hatch qualified as an individual for the 1996 Olympics
, but a lack of funding prevented the Cuban Olympic Committee from sending her to the competition. She retired and, in 1997, moved to the United States. With her new husband, Alan Hatch, she became a part owner and coach of the Stars Academy gym in West Haven
. In 2001 she became an American citizen.
Hatch resumed training at the elite level in 2001 with her husband as her coach. By mid-2002, Hatch turned heads in the U.S. when she won the U.S. Classic, a qualifier to the U.S. National Championships. ... Read More