Dictionary.com defines perfection as:
1. the state or quality of being or becoming perfect.
2. the highest degree of proficiency, skill, or excellence, as in some art.
3. a perfect embodiment or example of something.
4. a quality, trait, or feature of the highest degree of excellence.
5. the highest or most nearly perfect degree of a quality or trait.
Women's gymnastics describes perfection as achieving a score of 10.0 on each apparatus during a meet -- vault, balance beam, uneven bars and floor exercise. A perfect 40.0.
Within NCAA gymnastics, true perfection has only been achieved once.
Feb. 23, 1996.
Georgia freshman Karin Lichey scored the elusive perfect 40.0 at Stegman Coliseum in a meet against Kentucky.
The meet was just the eighth of Lichey’s collegiate career.
“I do remember this day,” Karin Lichey said. “I just do not remember too many specifics. I was not feeling well that day and told the assistant coach. He said ‘let’s just take it one event at a time.’ And then I got 10 after 10, and so I kept going.”
Georgia, as the home team, performed the Olympic order of events: vault, uneven bars, balance beam and floor exercise.
“I was only a freshman when this happened,” Lichey said. “And when you are young, you just go with the flow. I was competing for the team and it was pretty exciting.”
In addition to Lichey’s four 10s, teammate Lori Strong also scored a perfect 10 on the uneven bars to add to the Gymdog tally. Georgia won the meet 197.525-193.525.
“My dad was at this meet,” Lichey said, “his plane was delayed and he walked in right when we were starting vault. After it was over, we went to a local pizza place to celebrate with fans. He called my mom and she called to double check with the coach because she did not believe him.”
In the 18 years since, some gymnasts have scored three 10s, but Lichey remains the only and only to achieve the perfect 40.