May 11, 2016
BOISE, Idaho - Two incoming freshmen on the Boise State gymnastics team, Panama's Isabella Amado and New Zealand's Courtney McGregor, will compete individually in the women's artistic all-around and represent their respective countries at the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. The duo will become the first Bronco gymnasts in school history to compete at the Olympic Games.
"It's so great to see their dreams come true," co-head coach Tina Bird said. "Years of dedication, sacrifice and hard work have paid off. They are going to have the experience of a lifetime in Rio, and then come to Boise and continue to grow."
With 12 countries qualifying as teams, Amado and McGregor are two of just 38 gymnasts to qualify as individuals. The entirety of the Olympic Games are scheduled for August 5-21, and the artistic gymnastics portion will take place August 6-11 and August 14-16.
"We are thrilled for these two incoming gymnasts, and we can't wait to see them shine in Rio," co-head coach Neil Resnick said.
Amado punched her ticket to Rio after receiving the tripartite nomination from the Olympic Tripartite Commission. The Olympic Tripartite Commission is comprised of the International Olympic Committee, the Association of National Olympic Committees and the International Gymnastics Federation. The three bodies are allowed to name one gymnast of their choosing to compete in the Olympics. With a 48.133 at worlds last year, Amado had the highest all-around finish among the other tripartite contenders.
"Making it to Rio has shown me that if I set my mind to do something and work day in and day out to get there, I can achieve anything I want," Amado said. "It's very exciting to see that all the sacrifices and the hard work I've put into gymnastics have paid off!"
Amado moved to Virginia Beach, Va., a few years ago and has been training at Excalibur Gymnastics. Last year she earned bronze at the Osijek Challenge Cup on the balance beam in September, and took 18th place in the all-around at the Pan-American Games in July. Her best meet in 2014 came at the Medellin World Cup where she picked up a bronze medal in vault and then earned the gold on beam.
McGregor will be the first New Zealand gymnast to compete at the Olympics since the 2000 Summer Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia. The Christchurch native recently qualified at Aquece Rio 2016 - a test event in Rio where she scored 52.466 points in the all-around, including a fourth-place finish in vault with a 14.149.
"I am so excited to have been officially announced to the New Zealand Olympic Team heading to Rio this summer!" McGregor said. "It has been a dream of mine for a long time and I am absolutely thrilled to have been selected. I can't wait to start at Boise State and train with Coach Bird and Coach Resnick this summer."
A month ago she competed at the Pacific Rim Championships in Seattle, Wash., and took seventh place in the all-around thanks to a 53.550. McGregor also competed at the 2015 World Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow, Scotland and took 17th on vault. She was one of two gymnasts to represent New Zealand at Worlds, and ended up taking 71st in the all-around.
Stay tuned for more details and coverage on the two future Bronco Olympians.