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Written by John Crumlish    Saturday, 23 December 2006 14:18    PDF Print
Kupets: Home for the Holidays
(1 vote, average 5.00 out of 5)

Continuing our week-long series featuring prominent gymnasts from around the world, world and Olympic medalist Courtney Kupets talks to IG Online about her upcoming holiday plans.

Courtney Kupets
Kupets, a sophomore at the University of Georgia, said she is looking forward to celebrating the holidays at her parents' home in Athens, Ga. Joining her will be her older sister, Ashley (who also competes for Georgia), and her older brother, Mark, who attends Georgetown University Law School in Washington, D.C.

"My family has never done the same thing year after year," Kupets told IG. "We usually have something different going on each time. But the one thing that does stay the same is our Christmas meal. It's almost like a second Thanksgiving, and I love helping my dad prepare it."

During Kupets' international career, she lived in Maryland and trained at Hill's Angels with coaches Kelli Hill and Jen Bundy. Kupets won the world title on uneven bars in 2002 and was a member of the gold-medal U.S. team at the 2003 World Championships. She finished first all-around at the 2003 U.S. Championships, and tied Carly Patterson for first place all-around at the 2004 U.S. Championships.

At the 2004 Olympic Games in Athens, Kupets finished ninth all-around, third on uneven bars and second with the U.S. team. She was hampered at the Games by an injury that was later diagnosed as a stress fracture in her hip.

Kupets led Georgia to the team title at the 2006 NCAA Championships, where she placed first all-around, and tied for first place on uneven bars and balance beam.

Now preparing for Georgia's first meet of the upcoming season on Jan. 6, Kupets has been training consistently during the academic holiday break. The team has voluntary workouts Dec. 10-27.

"Since I don't travel anywhere and Georgia is basically my resident gym, I am lucky enough to have coaches who will take time out of their holiday break to come in on a few occasions so that I can work out some during our break," Kupets said.

Beyond the current NCAA season, Kupets said a return to international competition is a "hard question to answer," but not unreasonable.

"I always love a challenge, and if everything fell into place and I was capable I would not turn down the opportunity," she said. "But right now I am in collegiate gymnastics and that is where all my focus goes to, not to mention all the school work involved in it. Basically I don't rule out the possibility, but as of now it is not my intention."

Kupets joked about her resolution for the new year. "As of now the biggest thing I would like to keep under control is the messiness of my room," she said. "Lately it never stays clean. So my New Year's resolution is to maintain a clean room!"

How is world uneven bars champion Beth Tweddle celebrating Christmas Eve? Find out Sunday here at IG Online!

Courtney Kupets is featured in the following issues of International Gymnast magazine:

April 2002: cover photo, "Kupets Answers the Call" (profile)
January 2003: cover photo collage, 2002 World Championships special issue
February 2003: center poster collage
May 2003: "Common Bonds" (Kupets/Ashley Postell interview)
August/September 2003: cover photo collage, U.S. Championships coverage
August/September 2004: U.S. Olympic Trials and U.S. Championships coverage
October 2004: Olympic Games special issue
June 2006: NCAA Championships coverage.

To order back issues of IG magazine, click here.

 
Written by John Crumlish    Friday, 22 December 2006 14:14    PDF Print
High-Seas Holiday for Hambüchen
(3 votes, average 5.00 out of 5)
In the first of a week-long series featuring holiday plans of prominent gymnasts from around the world, 2006 world all-around bronze medalist Fabian Hambüchen of Germany talks about his upcoming Christmas at sea.

Hambüchen said he and a gymnastics friend will celebrate the holidays aboard the club ship Aida that sails between Jamaica and Mexico.

Fabian Hambüchen
"Normally the family is all together," the 19-year-old Hambüchen told IG. "But this year, I guess there will be a party on board."

Hambüchen said this Christmas is a major departure from his traditional family gathering.

"Normally on Christmas Eve we first go to church for Christmas Mass," said Hambüchen, who is coached by his father, Wolfgang. "Then we gather around our Christmas tree to exchange presents. After this we have the fondue and it's lot of fun with my parents, grandparents and brother."

During his seven-day voyage, Hambuchen intends to do a daily power workout on Aida's fitness deck to stay in shape.

At the 2006 World Championships, held in Denmark in October, Hambüchen finished third all-around and third on vault. He placed 23rd all-around and seventh on high bar at the 2004 Athens Olympic Games; first on high bar at the 2005 European Championships; and fourth on high bar at the 2005 World Championships.

Hambüchen has already set his goals for 2007.

"My resolution for the new year is first to make my high school examinations with good results, then to train harder to realize my gymnastics goals," he said. "They are qualifying for the Olympics, and better results on high bar in competition."

Fabian Hambüchen is featured in the following issues of International Gymnast magazine:

December 2006: 2006 World Championships special issue
August/September 2005: 2005 European Championships coverage
March 2005: "Biding His Time" (short Hambüchen profile)
May 2003: "German Giants" (Hambüchen/Wolfgang Eichorn profile)

To order back issues of IG magazine, click here.

 


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