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Larissa Lowing-Libby


  • Inducted in 2007
  • Athlete

Larissa Lowing-Libby was born on January 26, 1973 in Scarborough.

In 1979, Larissa and her family moved to Whitby where Larissa graduated from Denis O’Connor High School. She developed her enthusiasm for gymnastics at an early age and established herself as a keen competitor with the outlook and determination that would lead to an outstanding list of accomplishments.

Larissa became one of Canada’s more successful gymnasts of the late 1980s. She emerged into national prominence in 1986, winning the Junior Canadian national title. Over the next few years, Larissa competed in fourteen international competitions, including two World Championships (1987 – where at age 14 she was the youngest member of a Canadian Team to compete at a World Championship event and 1989), one Olympic Games (1988 – where she battled through a bad case of shin splints to compete), and one Commonwealth Games (1990). In 1988 she won the Belgian Gym Masters, and in 1989 she easily won Britain’s major international invitation, the Champions All, capturing three event gold Medals and one silver and at the Hungarian Invitational won a gold medal for her performance on the uneven bars.

Larissa also led the Canadian team to its best-ever sixth place finish at the World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany. During the Championships, Larissa submitted a unique beam mount to the Federation of International Gymnastics in hopes of having it named after her. After it was evaluated and accepted her mount was listed in the Code of Points as “The Lowing”. Placing 18th in the all-around, she went on to qualify for the vault event finals achieving Canada’s first ever world vault ranking and becoming only the second female in Canadian history to receive an “A” card status. Larissa was named Canadian Gymnast of the Year for 1989 and 1990 and received Gold Level recognition from the Canadian Gymnastics Federation.

In recognition of her international success, Larissa became Canada’s first female athlete to grace the cover of the famed gymnastics’ publication, International Gymnast. Larissa accepted a scholarship to Louisiana State University (LSU) where she served as the team captain (and won letters) for all four of her seasons at LSU (1991-1995). Despite suffering a series of injuries, she finished her collegiate career on a high note by taking the 1995 NCAA Central Regional bars title.

After graduating from LSU, Larissa served as an assistant coach for the LSU Tigers. While at LSU, Larissa met her husband Chad Libby, former athletic trainer for LSU football and gymnastics. Married since 1997, the couple moved to Iowa City, Iowa. Larissa became the Assistant Gymnastics Coach for the University of Iowa where the team moved from 65th in the country to as high as 11th. In 2003, she was named North Central region Assistant Coach of the Year and helped guide the Hawkeyes to consecutive NCAA appearances in 2003 and 2004.

Currently, Larissa is Head Coach for the University of Iowa Gymnastics team and has two daughters, Taylor Anne born November 4, 1997 and Bailey Elizabeth born April 29th 2004.

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