Gymnast Mizuki Sato To Medically Retire

Aug. 5, 2011

UCLA gymnastics head coach Valorie Kondos Field announced that Mizuki Sato has medically retired from the sport and will be an undergraduate assistant coach for the 2012 season.

Sato was attempting to come back as a redshirt senior after undergoing two different surgeries in the past two years (labrum tear in 2010 and ACL tear in 2011).

"I was excited last spring when Mizuki told me she wanted to come back and be part of the team this year; I felt that the leadership she could offer would be priceless," said Kondos Field. "After further discussion with Mizuki, we realized that there simply wasn't enough time for her to fully recover and get back to where she would need to be in order to be competitive. Plus, she would be spending the majority of her time in rehab versus training alongside her teammates. As an undergraduate assistant coach, Mizuki will be able to be fully present from day one as a vital part of our team's leadership and chemistry."

Sato was a key member of UCLA's 2010 NCAA Championship squad and a first-team All-Pac-10 performer on floor exercise in 2009. She also earned Pac-10 All-Academic honors three times and was a 2009 Arthur Ashe Jr. Sports Scholar honoree. Her career-high scores were 9.95 on beam, 9.925 on floor and 9.9 on vault.

"Although my gymnastics career ended unexpectedly and not in the way that I had envisioned, I am proud of what I have accomplished, and more importantly, what I have learned throughout my four years as a collegiate student-athlete," said Sato. "I value the journey that I have taken thus far and look forward to learning about the coaching side of collegiate gymnastics. The girls on this team mean a great deal to me, and I want to be there for them to the best of my ability. Thank you to everyone who has supported me throughout my career; it has been an amazing, once-in-a-lifetime experience."

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