Ribeiro, Wilner Win Gold at Maccabiah Games
Aug. 6, 2013
CHAMPAIGN, Ill. - Fighting Illini assistant coach Daniel Ribeiro and junior-to-be Mike Wilner led the U.S. men's gymnastics team to the gold medal at the 19th Maccabiah Games. Wilner won the gold medal on the still rings, and Ribeiro served as the team's head coach, leading the U.S. to its first men's gymnastics gold medal at the Maccabiah Games since 1981.
"It was an unbelievable experience," Ribeiro said. "It was even more than I expected it to be. The team came together better than I could have imagined. They are a great group of guys and worked their butts off. They turned it on at the meet and hit almost every routine. Mike was incredible. He just dominated the competition. I was really proud of him."
Wilner dominated the rings, winning by 0.8 over teammate Mike Levy. The U.S. swept the top three spots on the rings. Wilner was one of two U.S. gymnasts to win an event, along with Alec Robin on the high bar. The team captured two gold medals, six silver medals and three bronze medals on the individual events in addition to the team gold over Israel.
"It was an awesome experience to represent the USA," Wilner said. "I feel blessed to have not only won the team and rings gold medals but also to represent America in Israel and feel connected to my heritage."