The Mayflower truck moves the Sheriff family to Blue Mound, Illinois, where the Reverend Hal Sheriff will be the Methodist minister to a parish that soon will have a jump' n gym.

Hali, the Sheriff's eight-year-old gymnastics phenomenon, is moving away from Charlie Pond's Gym in Champaign Urbana, Illinois, where she was taught by Olympians Muriel Grossfeld and Sharon Richardson. Michelle Pond, Charlie's daughter, claims that Hali exhausted her knowl­edge base on the sport of gymnastics, learning everything she could possibly teach her in her very first lesson. Hali, the darling of Pond's Palaestrum, goes on to win the gold in early competitions.

The USA Women's Olympic Gymnastics Team competes in Rome, where Russian Larisa Latynina dances her way to Olympic gold. Muriel Grossfeld completes for the USA in her second of three Olympiads.


Hal's wife, Ginny, gets a set of uneven parallel bars and puts them in the parsonage garage so that their eight-year-old gym­nastic prodigy, Hali, could learn skills. Five-year-old little brother, Paul, sneaks in to play on his sister's bars.

Nine-year-old Hali Sheriff sweeps the medals at the Louisville Ken­tucky Turners Gym meet, and Blue Mound claims Hali as their own. Hali's mother is busy making arrange­ments for Hali to compete against America's top Olympic gymnasts in the Chicago Open in the winter of 1962, and is seeking opportunities for Hali to compete in Canada against women in the Senior Division.


In the late summer, the church gym heats up when Ginny organizes the Blue Mound Gym Club.

Three months after organizing the Blue Mound Gym Club, the BMGC competes in the Louisville Kentucky Invitational, winning the team trophy. Ten-year-old Hali Sheriff tumbles away with six gold medals in the Twelve and Under Division.

The very young BMGC gets early Christmas gifts at the Twelfth Annual Athenaeum Turner meet in Indianapolis, Indiana, winning second and third place team trophies. Hali sparkles as she wins the all-around and captures the hearts of the audience. First grader Paul rigorously works out with the BMGC and soon will be the youngest team member to earn his team patch.


In a frosty January Meet hosted by the Milwaukee Turners, Hali Sheriff wins six gold medals in the Midget Division. Scoring 376 for the four Olympic events, Hali tumbles past all divisions, including Junior Division future Olympian, Linda Metheny, with a score of 354, and Senior Division Anne Sermak,with a score of 335.

Springing forth in April, the Blue Mound Gym Team enters the Flint, Michigan Junior College Gymnastics Competition.The organizers of this competition, which includes midwest and Canadian teams, thinks it better to enter the BMGC in the Upper Division, even though their ages are that of the Junior Level competitors. Hali wins all Olympic events and catapultes the team for a bronze trophy.

May continues the medal conquest, with the BMGC winning the Central Championship Meet in Chicago, Illinois in the Junior Division, and placing second in the Senior Division. Hali again does not disappoint, thoroughly outscoring all competitors in every event.

August brings royalty to the BMGC, when sixteen-year-old gymnast Judy Reed is crowned the Blue Mound Fall Festival Queen.

November ushers in the BMGC to Louisville, Kentucky, where they again win the Junior Division with the assistance of six gold medals from super star Hali Sheriff.

Hali and the BMGC are featured in an A.A.U. National Magazine article, which has subscribers all over the world.

December finds the BMGC in sunny Sarasota, Florida, where Hali captures the Junior Olympic National Title with a torn ligament in her toe, winning six gold medals.

Judy Reed again is crowed queen in the 1963 National Gymnastics Queen Contest, earning her the nickname of "Queenie."

Ginny Sheriff furthers her gymnastic knowledge by taking an International Federation of Gymnastics judging course.


In February, the BMGC travels to New Orleans and dominates the floor by winning both Junior and Senior team trophies. A lithe Hali Sheriff stands on the first place podium for all events.

Amarillo Texas hosts the National Junior Olympics and the West Texas A.A.U. Open meet in March. Winning all events in both meets, the undefeated Hali Sheriff walks away with twelve gold medals. The Texas City Sun predicts that Hali will be the first Olympic gymnast to win five gold medals in Olympic history. The BMGC wins the majority of medals at the Junior Olympic Gymnastics meet.

In April, The Blue Mound Rotary, who sponsored the BMGC for the Texas meets, hosts an evening of gymnastics for the team that put Blue Mound on the map.

The Reverend Hal Sheriff takes some time off from preaching and coaching and earns his wings at the Decatur Airport.

The BMGC returns to Louisville, Kentucky on April 11 with a roar, winning both Junior and Senior team titles. The eleven-year-old Hali Sheriff, now receiving press prior to the competition, flies through her Olympic level routines, winning six gold medals.

On April 19, not tiring from winning, the BMGC travels to Chicago, Illinois, to clench the Central A.A.U. Gymnastics title. Hali Sheriff sweeps the gold, with press claiming she is revolutionizing the sport of gymnastics.

The BMGC continues its tour de force in April, by tumbling over both Junior and Senior level divisions at Louisville, Kentucky. Twelve-year-old Hali continues her winning streak with six gold medals.

Receiving the first trophy in her life, 33-year-old Ginny Sheriff, a self-taught, ferociously ambitious coach, accepts the tribute from the other coaches in Louisville.

In December, for the second year in a row, Hali Sheriff racks up five gold medals and leads the BMGC to the Junior Girls A.A.U. title in Indianapolis, Indiana.

December 25 finds the BMGC in Sarasota, Florida. Hali sits out of the competition due to a sore foot.


Three in a row. For the third year, the BMGC travels to Chicago, Illinois and captures the Central A.A.U. title. Hali Sheriff, who has to sit out due to a gashed hand, cheers on as her teammates prevail.

February finds the BMGC winning in Chicago, Illinois and Oklahoma City, Oklahoma.

The BMGC ride into Dallas, Texas, and round up the Junior Girls A.A.U. Championship title. Hali, still mending, watches as her teammates have their chance on the podium.

Graduating from High School in June, Marnie Bankson and Toby Towson start packing for college and leave the BMGC.

Two members of the BMGC travel to Louisville, Kentucky, and capture the team title in the University of Louisville's first A.A.U. Invitational Gymnastics Meet, Elementary Division.

The team splits to attend two meets. Three BMGC members travel to Indianapolis and earn the bronze trophy in the Turners Annual Meet.

Traveling in another direction, two BMGC members travel to Chicago for the Midwest Open for Women. Twelve-year-old Hali Sheriff outscores all contestants in the preliminaries, including competitors for the University of Southern Illinois, University of New Mexico, Flint Junior College and nine other teams, winning all events. In the finals, Belgium Olympic gymnast, Vera Govaerts, places second in the all-around to Hali, whom she beats on vault by a contested one-tenth of a point.

On December 2, three BMGC members fly to Tampico, Mexico to compete in the First National Gymnastic Meet of Mexico. Other international competitors from Canada and Bulgaria witness as the BMGC wins first, second and third on every event. Hali, receiving international recognition for her outstanding performances, wins five gold medals.


The BMGC opens its 1965-66 gymnastics competition by winning both the Elementary and Junior Division Championships in the Louisville, Kentucky A.A.U. Invitational. Hali dazzles as she polishes gold on every event.

Spring finds the BMGC bounding through the Central A.A.U. Gymnastics Champion­ships at Rich High School near Chicago, Illinois. Although still thirteen, Hali competes in the fourteen and over age group and glides through all events, taking the gold. The BMGC walks away with winning both the Junior and Senior divisions.

March opens its international doors for thirteen-year-old Hali to perform in Europe on a tour organized by gymnastics entrepreneur, George Nissen. Using Hali's athletic prowess as a sales tool, George is hoping to break into the European gymnastics equipment market. The UK Daily Mirror states that America's top gymnast is simply fantastic!

Spellbinding audiences, Hali and her mother are given a silver plaque inscribed with the following words: "Mrs. Sheriff coach, English Gymnastics Tour, February/March 1966. Thank you for bringing us Hali, the finest woman gymnast we have ever seen." The tour is to include France and Germany, and end at the Czechoslovakian National Championships in Prague, where Hali would compete against the reigning world gymnast, Vera Caslavska.

George Nissen invites fourteen-year-old Hali Sheriff to perform for stockholders at an exhibition in Cedar Rapids, Iowa on June 15. The following month, a corporate newsletter states that her performance on both beam and bars was outstanding and that net earnings of the Nissen corporation were up 25%.

June 15. After performing at the Nissen head­quarters, the plane, piloted by the Reverend Hal Sheriff, succumbs to a violent rainstorm near Alexis, Illinois. Hal Sheriff, Virginia Sheriff, Hali Sheriff, Nancy Becket, Billy Becket, and Joanna Wulfsberg are all immediately killed when the airplane crashes into a remote cornfield.

On June 16, the members of the BMGC are pawns of fate and have to reassess, rethink and reinvent a new life. Paul is transplanted to a small community in western Pennsylvania and does not see his teammates for the next 45 years.


Mexico City houses the nineteenth Summer Olympics, where the American women's team places sixth. The American hopeful, Cathy Rigby, places sixteenth in the all-around.