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Olympic Legend Courtney Kupets to Appear at Centre Elite Gymnastics

by on July 21, 2012 6:00 AM

Olympic silver medalist Courtney Kupets will take part in a celebrity meet and greet from 2 to 4 p.m. on Saturday at Centre Elite Gymnastics.

There will also be an open house as part of the event.

Gymnast Courtney Kupets is best known for receiving both a silver and bronze medal at the 2004 Olympics in Athens. As a bar specialist, she garnered the U.S. Olympic team’s highest score on the uneven bars.

Like many high-level gymnastics, Kupets started gymnastics as an active toddler, and by age 7, she was competing regularly. In 1999, Kupets tested to be an “Elite” gymnast, the highest possible designation in women’s gymnastics after level 10. “Elite” is a level that is rarely achieved and is reserved for those gymnasts who are able to compete the most difficult skills with exact precision and artistry.

This rising gymnastics star trained at Hill’s Gymnastics in Gaithersburg, Maryland under coaches Kelli Hill and Jen Bundy-Bortz. Kupets trained approximately 35 hours each week at the same gym that produced Olympians Elise Ray and Dominique Dawes.

Kupets' path to the Olympic games was not an easy one. While at the 2003 World Championships, she tore her Achilles tendon in a practice session, an injury that can be debilitating to most gymnasts. With the Olympics only a year away, Kupets managed a rapid come-back and won the 2004 U.S. National title, all-around title at the U.S. Olympic Trials, and was subsequently named to the 2004 Olympic team.

Jen Bundy-Bortz, Kupets’ former coach, now resides in State College and is coaches the high-level optional gymnasts at Centre Elite Gymnastics. Through her association with Kupets, Centre Elite is able to share this Olympian’s amazing story. Sports enthusiasts can come hear about Kupets successful rise to Olympic status, participate in a question and answer session, and have their picture taken with and autographed by Kupets.

Centre Elite Gymnastics, along with several other local businesses, is sponsoring the event as part of the gym’s “Be a Part of the Olympic Spirit” summer program held in honor of the 2012 Olympics. Admission to the open house is free, although the gym is requesting a nominal $3 donation to help offset photography costs. There will also be an on-site bake sale to benefit the competitive team’s booster club.

This story was produced by the staff at the Centre County Gazette. It was re-published with permission. The Centre County Gazette is a weekly publication, available at many locations around Centre County every Thursday morning.
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