Local mother, daughter Olympic trials judges


ST. LOUIS – Judy Johnson-Durr and her daughter, Posy Durr, have historically found different methods of mother-daughter bonding. It is unusual for others. To them, being on a mat in a gym seems perfectly normal.

They took it to a new level last week.

They served as assistant judges at the US Olympic Gymnastics Team Trials in St. Louis. And in a strange twist, they can thank the safety precautions in place for the coronavirus pandemic. Due to the United States National Gymnastics Congress and Trade Show also taking place in St. Louis at the same time, more local judges have had the chance to work on the Olympic Trials.

“They wanted to minimize contact between judges, coaches, athletes and officials,” Johnson-Durr said. “They opened it up to local judges and we applied online.”

They were selected and eventually found themselves assigned tasks during the balance beam competition for Friday night’s competition.

“I felt so lucky to be there,” said Posy Durr, 23, a graduate of Alton High and a recent graduate of Lindenwood University. “It makes you appreciate all the hard work that goes into being an elite athlete. They haven’t had a day off since 2016. ”

The pair served as timing judges on the balance beam.

Johnson-Durr, a physical education teacher at West Elementary School in Alton, is a former gymnast who competed at the elite level from 1978 to 1981. The elite level is now known as the national level.

She was in the top 30 in the country at one point. Then known as Judy Johnson, her chance to achieve her Olympic dreams would never have materialized anyway when the United States boycotted the Moscow Olympics in 1980.

Johnson-Durr spent the following years as a gymnastics teacher, trainer and judge. She has also spent a lot of time raising her triplets, including Posy. The other two-thirds of the Durr treble squad are Sister Savanna and Brother Jett.

“When I was 5 or 6, mom put me in gymnastics and I said I hated it,” Posy said with a laugh. “Then, around the age of 10, I would go to the gym with her when she was training. Kristin Bower (from Mid-Illinois Gymnastics) put me in a class and I kept going back. After a few months, I was in the team.

From the age of 10 to 15, Posy Durr competed on the Mid-Illinois team.

“Then I decided to walk away,” she said. “I wasn’t making any progress, but I was on the dance team at Alton High.

“And mom and I taught ‘Mommy and Me’ gymnastics classes when I was in high school and college. It was a moment of complicity for us. “

Much like their time spent near the national stage last week judging Simone Biles, the current greatest gymnast of all time.

Johnson-Durr recently judged events such as the Southeastern Conference Meet in Huntsville, Alabama and a regional meet at the University of Georgia. She has regularly ruled Big 10 and SEC meets.

“My mom is a high profile judge and more used to seeing the high level of skill,” Posy Durr said, “but I think even she was amazed and wide-eyed.”

Posy’s mother agreed.

“It was fun,” Johnson-Durr said. “It was pretty much all business, but I was happy to have the opportunity.”

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