Soon after the Olympic games ended, it was discovered that Patterson had several bulging disks in her lower back that had gone unnoticed.
She announced her intention to take time off from the sport to rehabilitate her back, but she officially retired from the sport in 2006 without ever participating in another major competition.
pic.twitter.com/1PGXKKk NFJ Today's #TSHOF Nominee Spotlight on former gymnast and Olympian Carly Patterson!
@Carly Patterson is an Allen, Texas native who won gold in the individual all-around at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games.
She recalled the decision in a 2009 interview, saying, "I started having some back issues, and honestly, my doctor was like, ‘Carly, you really need to stop if you want to be able to walk when you get older’...
So I retired and moved on to singing." Her coach said in a TV interview, "It's hard to top an all-around gold." She stayed occupied with event appearances, gymnastics-related and otherwise.
Carly Rae Patterson (born February 4, 1988 in Baton Rouge, Louisiana) is an American singer and former gymnast.
Patterson again won the all-around at the prestigious American Cup in 2004.She missed three landings on the floor exercise, however, and finished seventh overall. This set of wins solidified her as a leading American gymnast and viable candidate for the 2004 Olympic all-around title. Although she could not compete she was able to successfully petition to the 2003 World Gymnastics Championships.At the 2003 World Gymnastics Championships in Anaheim, California, she earned the all-around silver medal —the first time an American woman had won an all-around medal at that competition since 1994.She later admitted to being distracted after a rushed start on vault, with her coach saying, "The beginning of the competition was stressful. The Individual All-Around proved to be the much-anticipated battle between Patterson and legendary three-time World all-around champion Svetlana Khorkina.After scoring lower than usual on the vault (9.375), Patterson was stronger on her last three events, scoring 9.575 on uneven bars, 9.725 on the balance beam, and 9.712 on the floor exercise.