(Here is the video that was released in Oct 2009 ...
Here is a transcript (to the best of my ability, fairly true to how it was spoken), of Chari’s ~5 minute segment of this program …
The info in ITALICS are my added notes.
Below, Bill Schonely is “BS:”, and Chari Hunter is “CH:”)
BS: This native Oregonian used amazing balance, and muscle control, to rewrite the record books. Ladies and gentlemen, few in the world of gymnastics, ever became this good ...
(start of the highlight video ... graphic: “CHARI KNIGHT OSU GYMNAST)
... Eleven years after her departure, the record books of Oregon State University Gymnastics are still filled with the exploits of Chari Knight,
(photo of BEA TISTU! ... from the cover of the 1999 media guide!!)
... a native of Eugene,
(view of Chari’s photo/bio from the OSU media guide ... highlight video continues**...)
... Knight was leader of the outstanding OSU teams of the early ‘90’s; Chari made a splash her freshman season; she was “All-America” in three events, as part of the powerful 1991 squad that finished fourth in the nation. Her sophomore year was one of perfection, Knight scored the first 10 in school’s history, in the uneven bars and balance beam. Chari Knight would eventually receive a total of 8 perfect scores. As a Junior, she would reset the record in the all-around, the combined score of all four events in a single meet. Knight concluded her OSU career in 1994, by winning the American Award, given to the national college gymnast of the year! (actually the top Senior NCAA Gymnast of the year!)
Chari was a true all-arounder, but her best performances came on the balance beam; Knight’s signature move, the gravity defying plange, an unreal display of balance and muscle control. When all was said and done Knight had won 7 All-American honors and set Oregon State records that still stand today! She married a fellow Oregon State athlete and has stayed involved with the sport as a competitor and an official, even helping select the 2000 United States National Team (…that should have said OLYMPIC team!)
A home-grown hero, who helped Oregon State Gymnastics maintain a tradition of excellence! ... Chari Knight! (graphic: “CHARI KNIGHT”, ... Chari walking on “stage” with Bill Schonely)
**(“Highlights” of highlight video ... appeared to be pre-OSU, USA Team competition (brief ... bm-flr-bm), bars dismount, and another with a large vinyl poster in background that “appears to say “Join the BOOSTER CLUB Today – SUPPORT STUDENT ATHLETES”! ... beam work, ... a vault, floor (reverse plange, etc.), bars dismount, vault, more beam work, then THE PLANGE, video of some “recent” practice competitions (~within the last three years?), beam jump, beam dismount, salute to the crowd.)
(Chari sits is the “oversized” chairs)
CH: It’s a little too big for me. (slumping in the chair with her feet on the ground, laughs, and then sits up against the back of the chair with only her ankles and feet hanging over the seat ... laughing )
BS: Relax Chari. Tell us about your OSU experience
CH: Oh gosh, um, there were so many good experiences. I think most of all I learned to compete in college. I recall grade school, uh, the time I enjoyed gymnastics where it was fun, I got into it ‘cus it was fun, I was climbing all over things, and my parents put me in it, because they didn’t know what else to do with me, so the gymnastics. Then high school, I learned how serious it was, and was able to earn a college scholarship, and in college learned to compete, and I think I’m back to the kindergarten stage where you do it for fun, so ...
BS: Give us some of your personal highlights of your gymnastics career.
CH: Scoring 10’s was of course a highlight! Gymnastics is a sport where you start at perfection, supposedly, before you even start the event you have a 10, and you just get knocked down from there, so ... um basketball you get to keep scoring points, and your score keeps going up, so if you miss one get to score another point, and the score keeps going up ... in gymnastics you just get knocked down, so to get a ten was like “WOW, I did that perfect, really, are you serious?” So, that’s pretty exciting, and um, ... there so many things I got to do because of it ... I got to do a television movie because of it, later ... and then just competing in college, to my senior year getting the American Award, that meant a lot to me I think because it encompassed sports, academics, and character, it encompassed the whole person.
BS: How old were you when you started all this?
CH: According to my mother ... um 4. She says she took me to the YMCA in Milwaukee? ... Portland?... said I climbed the ropes to the ceiling at 4 and she went ... (gaping mouth) and I wasn’t afraid, so that’s how I got started.
BS: What do you tell young ladies who might want to follow in your footsteps and want to get involved in gymnastics?
CH: If they want to I always encourage them to, and so yeah, I encourage them to do it, and I encourage them to do it because they want to. It seems this day and age kids are like pushed into doing this-this-and-this, ... I’m always encouraging them to do it ‘cause they want to, and if it seems they are doing it for other reasons I try to talk to them about that.
BS: You’ve had quite a career, OSU is proud of you, the entire state of Oregon is, will you please stand ... For all of your accomplishments, and there are many, you are now an official member of the State of Oregon Sports Hall of Fame. (Presents Chari with a gold rimmed silver plate, with her name, HOF logo, the date, “October 11, 2006”, and “Gymnastics”.)
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