In honor of this weekend’s American Cup in Jacksonville, Florida, I’ll be doing a few posts this week on “Great American Cup” Moments.

It turns out that two years ago USA Gymnastics actually put out several videos highlighting some of the past American Cups, which date back to 1976.  Here’s a look at one of these videos which features some moments from the inaugural American Cup, held in New York, New York:

1976 American Cup Highlights

That’s right, the now husband-wife duo won matching gold medals at the first ever American Cup in New York.  They even performed the same vault!  Here’s a look at the final results:


1.  Bart Conner                        56.45

2.  Dan Grecu                           56.35

2.  Vladimir Markelov            56.35

4.  Mitsuo Tsukahara             56.05

5.  Andrzej Szajna                   56.00

6.  Imre Banrevi                        55.15


1.  Nadia Comaneci                 39.70

2.  Kathy Howard                    38.15

3.  Elena Davydova                  36.85

4.  Reiko Yoshida                     36.55

4.  Zsuzsa Nagy                        36.55

6.  Silvia Anjos                         34.45

Bart Conner High Bar 1976 American Cup

Nadia Comaneci Bars 1976 American Cup

Nadia Comaneci Perfect Ten on Floor 1976 American Cup

I have no idea if this was the first actual perfect ten awarded in competition, but I do know that this happened BEFORE the Montreal Olympics that year, where Nadia is often mistakenly identified as scoring the first perfect ten in history.  The truth is, she scored the first perfect ten in OLYMPIC history at the Montreal Games, but as you can see here, she had scored a perfect ten in international competition before.  The fact that Cathy Rigby states it was the first time she had ever seen a perfect ten makes me wonder if this routine was actually the first one ever awarded in elite gymnastics…at least internationally.

Anyone know the answer to this?