Christy Henrich

In 1988, 15-year-old gymnast Christy Henrich was striving to make the Olympic team. Early that year, though, a judge at a national competition reportedly told Henrich that if she expected to make the team, she would have to lose some weight. That advice proved devastating. At 4-10 and 95 pounds, Henrich was hardly overweight. But in the world of gymnastics and other sports that stress body image and weight consciousness—diving, figure skating, and distance running, among others—female athletes have traditionally been prescribed a less-is-more fitness regimen.
Henrich would soon develop a severe eating disorder; she struggled with anorexia and bulimia for six years before dying at age 22. She was only 47 pounds when she passed away, and when she did, she became the poster child for a syndrome known as the Female Athlete Triad.

Two years before Henrich's death, Female Athlete Triad was first recognized at a conference organized by a group of researchers, physicians, and sports officials from the National Institutes of Health and the American College of Sports Medicine. "In the early '80s, I started seeing women coming in and talking about bulimia, depression, eating disorders, and other weight-related problems," says UCLA team physician Dr. Carol Otis, who was chairperson and lead author of the 1992 NIH-ACSM conference report that first identified the syndrome. There are three interrelated components to the Triad, says Otis: eating disorders or "disordered eating"—poor nutritional habits that are less severe than anorexia or bulimia—which leads to amenorrhea, the loss of regular menstrual cycles, and finally the early onset of bone-density loss or osteoporosis, a condition that is irreversible for women between the ages of 18 and 30. The report concluded that the syndrome is triggered by the eating disorders coupled with the overtraining involved in many sports.

On Juli 26th 1994 Christy Henrich died at 61 pounds from multiple organ failure.
She had been the #2 gymnast in the USA in 1989 and was predicted to become a member of the 1992 US Olympic Team. At 4'11' weighting less than 100 pounds she was told by an olympic judge that she would have to lose weight to make the olympic team. She became obsessed with her weight. Se sometimes ate only an apple per day, even though her work required an enormous amount of energy. At 18 she had to retire from gymnastics due to her deteriorated condition. She never made the olympic team. She died four years later at the age of 22. Her death brought to public awareness the prevalence of eating disorders in appearance oriented sports such as gymnastics or figure skating.