Courtney McCool

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Courtney McCool
— Gymnast —
Full name Courtney Lynn McCool Griffeth
Country represented  United States
Born (1988-04-01) April 1, 1988 (age 26)
Hometown Kansas City, Missouri
Discipline Women's artistic gymnastics
Level Senior International Elite
Club Great American Gymnastics Express
College team Georgia Gymdogs (University of Georgia)
Head coach(es) Suzanne Yoculan (3 years), Jay Clark (1 year)
Assistant coach(es) Jay Clark (3 years), Julie Clark (1 year)
Courtney McCool
Medal record
Women's Artistic Gymnastics
Competitor for the  United States
Olympic Games
Silver 2004 Athens Team
Pan American Games
Gold 2003 Santo Domingo Team
Silver 2003 Santo Domingo Vault

Courtney Lynn McCool Griffeth (born April 1, 1988 in Kansas City, Missouri) is an American gymnast, who was a team member in the 2004 Summer Olympics women's artistic gymnastic team. Although she didn't compete in the team finals, she helped the team place second, earning the silver medal behind Romania. Featured among Inside Gymnastics Magazine's "50 Most Photogenic Gymnasts of 2005," Courtney is known for combining beautiful technique with explosive power.

McCool was coached by Al and Armine Fong of Great American Gymnastic Express in Kansas City, Missouri. She was the runner-up at 2003's Junior US Championships, and vaulted her way to a silver medal at the 2003 Pan American Games. At sixteen years old and in her first year as a senior gymnast, McCool was the runner-up at March's American Cup and the all-around champion at the Olympic Test Event in Athens where she was the only gymnast to qualify for all four event finals, winning the silver on vault and bronze on bars. In 2004 McCool placed fourth in the all-around at the US National Championships and second all-around at the US Olympic Trials, all but guaranteeing her a spot on the Olympic Team.

McCool attended the University of Georgia as a Georgia Gymdog alongside Olympic teammate and best friend Courtney Kupets. During her four years as a Gymdog, the team won 3 NCAA National titles. The only year McCool was not a championship-winning team was her senior year following a change in head coaches.

Skills[edit]

Courtney's front handspring beam mount is known as the "McCool." It is defined by USAG as a, "Flyspring forward with flight before and after hand support on Beam, landing on both feet - approach at end of beam."It has been given a D value.

  • VAULT: 1½ twisting Yurchenko
    • Start Value: 9.7
    • High Score: 2004 American Cup
  • FLOOR: Popa + tuck jump 2/1 , roundoff + ff + 2½ + front 1/1 , double turn with leg above horizontal + wolf jump 1 , switch ring leap + Gogean , triple full , front double twist + front layout.
    • Start Value: 10.0
    • High Score: 2004 American Cup
  • BALANCE BEAM: The "McCool", front aerial + ff stepout + layout stepout + layout stepout, switch leap + Onodi, sheep jump, wolf jump 1/1, switch side leap, full turn with leg above horizontal + Popa, roundoff + triple twist dismount.
    • Start Value: 10.0
    • High Score: 2004 US Women's Gymnastics Olympic Trials
  • UNEVEN BARS: Kip, cast handstand, stalder shoot, kip, cast handstand, underswing to blind turn, Khorkina, kip, cast handstand, Gienger kip, cast handstand 1/2, giant 3/2 (Dawes), Tkatchev, kip, cast handstand, giant 1/1, shootover to handstand, underswing shoot to high bar, kip, cast handstand, giant, giant, and double layout dismount.
    • Start Value: 9.9
    • High Score: 2004 US Nationals, Finals

Post Olympics Controversy[edit]

After the Olympics, McCool joined the TJ Maxx Tour of Olympic Champions. However, after finding out that the tour would not be stopping in her hometown of Kansas City, Missouri, McCool requested permission to join The Rock 'N Roll Gymnastics Challenge, a rival tour, to perform in Kansas City. TJ Maxx tour officials later claimed that they had never given McCool permission to join the other tour and asked her to leave the TJ Maxx tour. She then joined the rival tour, Rock 'N Roll Gymnastics Tour. She was not the only member of the Olympic team to do so, as Paul Hamm and Morgan Hamm both participated. World champions Shannon Miller and Hollie Vise were also involved.[1] After McCool left, the TJ Maxx tour decided to add a Kansas City, Missouri show to their tour dates. Bob Colarossi, then-CEO of USA Gymnastics, issued a statement criticizing McCool for her actions. Weeks later in January 2005, Colorassi resigned as CEO and was subsequently replaced by the current USAG President Steve Penny.[2][3]

After Athens, it emerged that McCool had been suffering from Kienbock's disease, a wrist condition that would prevent her from performing in any post-Olympic gymnastics exhibitions and required surgery. The condition had not been public knowledge prior to the Olympics, but it is still unclear how much the US team selectors knew about the problem when then injured McCool beat out Carly Patterson for second place in the all-around score behind Courtney Kupets at the 2004 U.S. Olympic trials. McCool's surgery for the painful condition prevented her from training properly for two years thereafter. Despite this setback, she earned a full scholarship to the University of Georgia, then the reigning NCAA champions. She began her freshman year in 2006, and she competed for the team on beam and floor throughout the 2006-2007 season.

NCAA Success[edit]

In her UGA freshman season, McCool demonstrated steady progress with her wrist rehab and rapidly increasing maturity as a team athlete. In the midst of a devastating last-minute season-ending injury to Ashley Kupets in warm ups and a dismal team showing on beam at the 2007 NCAA Gymnastics Championships in Salt Lake City, Utah, McCool scored an event high score of 9.95 on beam, solidifying the UGA Gym Dogs' lead on the way to their record setting third straight national title. In the 2008 NCAA Gymanstics Championships in Athens, Georgia, McCool won the NCAA title on the floor event, and she contributed to the Gym Dog's overall title.

Floor Music[edit]

2004: "Peter Gunn Theme"

References[edit]

Video Interviews[edit]

External links[edit]