Click the play button above to listen to how gymnast Tracee Talavera first met the coach who guided her to the Olympic Games.

Tracee Talavera and Mike Lynch


Tracee Talavera was driving with her father to a workout with a new coach when they saw a man walking along the side of the road as they neared the gym.

Mike Lynch – the coach with whom Talavera was going to train – had locked himself out of his two-door Honda Prelude sportscar. He had left a window half open, though, and Talavera was the ideal candidate to slide through to unlock the door.

“I had to climb through the window, get inside the car and get the keys,” Talavera said. “That was my first meeting with Mike.”

That memorable moment has stuck with both the coach and athlete for four decades.

Talavera was a member of the 1980 U.S. Olympic Team that boycotted the Moscow Games. Four years later, she helped Team USA win the silver medal in the team all-around at Los Angeles 1984. Lynch, who was Talavera’s coach, was one of the coaches of that team.

Listen to their StoryCorps conversation as Lynch and Talavera discuss their starts in gymnastics, how they became coaching partners and more.



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