Paul Hamm

Biographical information

RolesCompeted in Olympic Games
Full namePaul Elbert•Hamm
Used namePaul•Hamm
Born24 September 1982 in Ashland, Wisconsin (USA)
Measurements165 cm / 62 kg
AffiliationsTeam Chevron/Ohio State University
NOC United States
Medals OG
Gold 1
Silver 2
Bronze 0
Total 3


Paul Hamm was the individual all-around gymnastics gold medalist at the 2004 Athina Olympics, also winning that title at the 2003 World Championships. He was USA all-around champion in 2002-04. Hamm competed at the 2000 and 2004 Olympics alongside his twin brother Morgan Hamm. Their sister Betsy was also a top gymnast at the University of Florida, winning the 1998 NCAA title on balance beam.

Paul Hamm’s all-around gold medal at the 2004 Olympics did not come without controversy. He was in third place after five rotations but ended his event on the high bar, and his score of 9.837 put him in the lead over Yang Tae-Yeong and Kim Dae-Eun of Korea. Then the protests began. The Koreans protested Yang’s score on his last rotation, also the high bar, saying that he was given a start value of 9.9 instead of the 10.0 they thought he deserved.

Protests and appeals went back and forth between the Korean and American gymnastics officials, but eventually Paul Hamm stayed in first place and kept the gold medal, although the President of the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique (FIG), Bruno Grandi, wrote him a letter saying he should relinquish the gold medal and give it to Yang. That letter was denounced by IOC President Jacques Rogge. The Korean appeal then went to the Court of Arbitration for Sport (CAS) and on 21 October 2004 they ruled that the Olympic results, as announced, would stand and Hamm retained his gold medal.

Hamm won the 2004 Sullivan Award as the nation’s top amateur athlete, only the second gymnast to win that after Kurt Thomas. He studied at The Ohio State University but returned to competition in 2007. However, injuries prevented him from being able to compete at the 2008 Olympics. He later made another comeback, trying to make the 2012 Olympic team, but aborted that attempt early and retired from gymnastics. In 2016 Paul Hamm was inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame.


Games Discipline (Sport) / Event NOC / Team Pos Medal As
2000 Summer Olympics Artistic Gymnastics (Gymnastics) USA Paul Hamm
Individual All-Around, Men (Olympic) 14
Team All-Around, Men (Olympic) United States 5
Floor Exercise, Men (Olympic) =16 r1/1
Horse Vault, Men (Olympic) =9 r1/1
Parallel Bars, Men (Olympic) =19 r1/1
Horizontal Bar, Men (Olympic) 32 r1/1
Rings, Men (Olympic) =31 r1/1
Pommelled Horse, Men (Olympic) =36 r1/1
2004 Summer Olympics Artistic Gymnastics (Gymnastics) USA Paul Hamm
Individual All-Around, Men (Olympic) 1 Gold
Team All-Around, Men (Olympic) United States 2 Silver
Floor Exercise, Men (Olympic) 5
Horse Vault, Men (Olympic) 18 r1/1
Parallel Bars, Men (Olympic) 7
Horizontal Bar, Men (Olympic) 2 Silver
Rings, Men (Olympic) 44 r1/1
Pommelled Horse, Men (Olympic) 6

Olympic family relations

Special Notes