SAN JOSE, Calif. (NNS) -- A naval officer was inducted into the USA Gymnastics Hall of Fame, during a ceremony and luncheon as part of the USA Gymnastics National Congress and Trade Show in San Jose, Calif., June 30.
Cmdr. Mark Calderon, now the requirements officer for the Chief of Naval Air Training, represented the United States at four World Championships from 1980 to 1986 and won the 1982 World Synchronized Trampoline title with Stuart Ransom.
He was serving in the U.S. Navy when he qualified for the U.S. Trampoline Team for a fourth time in 1986.
"I always appreciated the fact that I was allowed by the Navy to pursue qualifying for the U.S. team back in 1986," said Calderon. "They gave me time off to train and even paid for some of the travel expenses, all while I was a third class petty officer."
He earned a Bachelor of Science in Kinesiology from the University of Texas at Austin and was commissioned as an ensign in the Navy in August 1992. He received his "Wings of Gold" and was designated a naval aviator in September 1995, and has flown the P-3 Orion. He went on to be an instructor pilot in both the P-3 and the training aircraft T-44.
"If he brought half as much dedication to gymnastics as he has brought to his jobs in the Navy, it does not surprise me that he was the best in the world," said Chief of Naval Air Training Rear Adm. William Sizemore. "He is a superb naval officer and a great example of the type of talented people we have serving in the United States Navy."
From South Texas, Calderon has been using his celebrity to inspire local children and encourage them to focus and work hard. He spoke to several classrooms this spring about his experiences and, in April, Calderon threw out the first pitch at Whataburger Field for the "Hooks," a Corpus Christi's minor league baseball team.
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