Kerri Strug Introduces Son Tyler William

06/07/2012 at 01:00 PM ET
Robert Fischer III

When it comes to Kerri Strug‘s greatest accomplishment, her gold medal has some competition.

The Olympic gymnast welcomed her first child, Tyler William, on March 1, and the new mom says the experience was everything she thought it could be.

“Life is great,” Strug, 34, tells PEOPLE with a smile.

“I understand it now, the immediate love. And there’s a willingness to put your child in front of everything else no matter what, under any circumstance.”

That even includes those times when circumstances conflict with Mom’s much-needed shut-eye.

“He likes to keep us on our toes, because just when we think he’s into the schedule and he starts to sleep through the night, he’ll surprise us,” says Strug.

“Life just changes. I’m very Type A, I like to get my list done. But things that seem so important to accomplish each day no longer seem relevant.”

As for Tyler’s future, Strug knows just what people are wondering. And yes, she will put her child in gymnastics classes, but not with any pressure from his Olympian mom, she says.

“I think gymnastics is a wonderful foundation for other sports, and they have all of these mommy-and-me type classes — that’s how I got started — so I’m definitely going to put him in there,” she says.

“But I hope he will find what he likes. Anything is fine. I think it’s just really important for youth today to have a passion and pursue something seriously.”

Meanwhile, Strug’s husband of two years, attorney Robert Fischer III, is gunning for one sport in particular, and there’s no vaulting involved.

“My husband, like many men, is an avid golfer — I don’t think he would come out and verbalize it, but I think he’s really hoping Tyler will be a golfer!” Strug says with a laugh.

Sixteen years after her golden moment, Strug is returning to the Olympics — and being recognized for that monumental vault all over again.

Strug, now a project manager for the Office of Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention, says she gets calls from friends who are seeing her memorable Olympic moment replayed on TV in anticipation of the London Games.

“It’s exciting to know I have had a lasting impression on the American public and people remember my moment,” she says.

As for this year’s Olympics, Strug is working with Hilton HHonors Support the Dream, which allows fans to send motivational messages to their favorite Olympic athletes (each message sent means a donation toward the refurbishments at the U.S. Olympic Training Center where many athletes live).

“You never know how those messages are going to impact an athlete and what it will mean to them,” says Strug. “Not everybody can actually go to an Olympic Games, but this gives people the opportunity to feel like they’re involved.”

And when it comes to this year’s gymnasts, Strug thinks Team USA has a great shot at striking gold. “The girls have been dominating the world for a very long time now,” she says. “This year’s team is going to do remarkably well.”

Robert Fischer III

— Rennie Dyball

FILED UNDER: Babies , Exclusive , News , Parenting

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Showing 28 comments

jessica on

I was 8 when the Atlanta games played on TV, and I still remember watching her stick that landing. That was one of the greatest moments in sports history.

Charli on

He’s a cutie pie!!! Still it must be a slow news week.

KGurley on

He is so adorable! 🙂

christa on

Still remembering that great day, when she nailed it. It must have been so hurtful, with that bad foot.

lee on

so cute!

Jumbybird on

What do you want Carli? Masseuses raped? Drunks arrested? Someone famous for being famous? Or do you want a someone who did something worthwhile to be famous? There are other things worth reporting other than scandal.

Lisa on

Aw he’s cute!!!!

bec on

i remember seeing that too. just gives me chills when i see clips of it. amazing.

jb on

someone said it must be a slow news week-uh, the olympics is coming up so why wouldnt people do a story on a past olympian? it is very relevant to what is going on right now and atleast it is a positive happy story!

Meghan on

She is so adorable! I was just watching her vault last week! What an inspiration. 🙂

PS on

Awww 🙂 What a sweetie.

Yes Mam on

Good for her. Remember that day well. Sure she will be a gold metal momma.

Someone You Know on

What a cutie…many blessings to the happy family.

Donna on

So glad to see she picked a normal name. It’s a nice change.

ReAnne on

Handsome little guy, and beautiful family!

Shannon on

Beautiful family. She seems very grounded.

A on

They seem so normal and happy! I watched those games over and over… probably still have them on VHS somewhere taped off of tv…can’t wait for summer olympics!!!

Tee on

Ach, Tyler’s adorable! He looks just like his Momma!

sat on

nice family photo! she hasn’t aged!

Ginger on

I remember that night…my mom and I were jumping up and down and applauding. Sticking that landing was amazing, especially on one foot! It still gives me chills to watch it.

SAR on

What a doll! Congratulations, Kerri.

Amy on

I remember watching her performance in 1996! She looks the same 🙂 Her family is beautiful!

AR on

She was so cute, full of spirit (and she still is). Beautiful family!

Emma on

Very Cute kid.

Doug Morris on

congratulations on a new baby boy, Kerri! when my parents and i saw you stick the landing on your injured ankle, we were very excited that you won the gold medal for Team U.S.A. you and your husband will be very excellent parents.

Jennifer M on

I was a gymnast when I was younger so I’m glued to the TV during women’s gymnastics whenever it’s on! You as well as the all of the girls that year will never be forgotten or duplicated. Best of luck on all of your future endeavor s. Congrats on your beautiful son 😉

Robert on

I just watched the US women win gold and got thinking about the 96 team. Immediately thought of that amazing landing that secured the gold. Now at 44 I still think it ranks amongst the greatest sports memories! I also have a son Tyler who is 4, and totally appreciate everything you said about putting them first and nothing else really matters any more.

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