Courtney Kupets bigraphy, stories - American gymnast

Courtney Kupets : biography

July 27, 1986 -

Courtney Anne Kupets (born July 27, 1986 in Bedford, Texas) is an American gymnast. She is best known for her 2003 and 2004 all-around national championships (with Carly Patterson as co-champion in 2004); her membership on the 2002 and 2003 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships and 2004 Olympic teams; and her individual bronze medal on the uneven bars at the 2004 Olympics.

During her elite career, Kupets resided in Gaithersburg, Maryland and trained at Hill's Gymnastics, former gym of Olympians Dominique Dawes and Elise Ray, for 35 hours each week.

She attended the University of Georgia, joining her older sister, Ashley Kupets, as a Georgia Gymdog. During her time at UGA, from 2005-2009, the Gymdogs won 4 NCAA National Championships. She served the 2009-10 season as a student assistant coach to new head coach, former assistant coach, Jay Clark.

She is not the only athlete in her family. Her father was a college football player at Indiana State University and her younger brother Chris recently became a college basketball player at University of Utah. Her sister Ashley was also an elite gymnast and Georgia Gymdog.

While the uneven bars is considered to be Kupets' best apparatus, she excels on the other events as well. During her elite career, her balance beam routine was valued at a 10.0 start value, the same as her bars routine. Her lowest-valued skill was her Podkopayeva vault, which had a 9.7. start value under the 2001-2005 Code of Points. Kupet's floor exercise routine was valued at a 9.9 usually - until 2004, where she had a 9.8 Start Value routine. She also had a reputation as one of the USA's most versatile tumblers, performing, at various points in her career, the double layout, triple twist, double Arabian, double front, double pike and various combination tumbling passes.

Post-Olympics and NCAA career

After returning from Athens, Kupets quit elite level gymnastics and traveled across the United States with other gymnasts on an exhibition tour sponsored by retailer T.J. Maxx.

In 2005 she joined the gymnastics team at the University of Georgia on full athletic scholarship. Kupets had a very successful first season with UGA, contributing to the team's first-place finish at the 2006 NCAA National Championships and winning the all-around, bars and beam titles at the same meet. She has debuted some new skills in NCAA, including a new double layout dismount off of bars. She also joined the Alpha Omicron Pi sorority.

During the 2007 season, she received a 10.00 on the uneven bars while competing against the University of Alabama. It was the first 10.00 on the bars for Georgia since 2002 and the first 10.00 of Kupets' career. Her bar routine featured a toe-on Tkatchev (Ray) to immediate bail and is considered one of the most difficult bar routines ever attempted in NCAA competition. Kupets tied teammate Katie Heenan for the all around title at the 2007 SEC Championships with a total of 39.600. Kupets earned the vault and bars titles with scores of 9.975 and 9.925 respectively. Despite numerous individual successes, the Gym Dogs were unable to capture their fourth-consecutive conference crown, losing to Florida. After this disappointment, Kupets led her team to the North Central Regional Title and was able to capture the All Around title despite having to deal with the distraction of her older sister tearing her Achilles tendon during the warm up for floor exercise, ending her career. As the winners of the regional, the Georgia team qualified again to Nationals.

Two weeks later, the Gym Dogs competed in the afternoon preliminary session against Florida. They defeated Florida in a surprising upset due to recent Gym Dog injuries and the overwhelming notion that Florida would easily walk away with the NCAA Championship after a consistent season. Kupets scored a 39.75 on day 1, scoring a 9.9 on beam and 9.95's on bars, floor and vault. This score held as the top all around total in the meet and earned Kupets her second consecutive NCAA All Around Title. Ashley Postell of Utah was once again the runner up. The Gym Dogs dominated the Super 6 finals, scoring a 197.85 and earning the team their third-consecutive NCAA Team Championship and 8th National Championship overall. Kupets ended her weekend by earning the NCAA Individual Vault title. She accomplished this by successfully competing a Yurchenko Full as her second vault, which she was unable to practice all year due to a foot injury. This marks Kupets' fifth individual NCAA title and seventh overall. Kupets rounded out her weekend by nabbing three more medals- silver on bars and floor, and a bronze on beam. Kupets was the only gymnast to medal on each of the four individual events.

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