Courtney McCool

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Courtney McCool
Event Finals Winners NCAA Championships 2008 Courtney McCool (cropped).jpg
Personal information
Full name Courtney Lynn McCool-Griffeth
Country represented  United States
Born (1988-04-01) April 1, 1988 (age 29)
Hometown Kansas City, Missouri, U.S.
Discipline Women's artistic gymnastics
Level Senior International Elite
Club Great American Gymnastics Express
College team 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 Lynn McCool-Griffeth (born April 1, 1988)[1] is an American former artistic gymnast who competed in the 2004 Summer Olympics. She was coached by Al and Armine Fong of Great American Gymnastic Express.[1]

From 2007–2010, McCool competed for the University of Georgia.[2] In that time, the team won three NCAA national titles.[3]

Elite gymnastics career[edit]

McCool was the runner-up in the junior division of the 2003 National Championships and won a silver medal on vault at the 2003 Pan American Games.[1] The following year, her first as a senior international elite, she was the runner-up at the American Cup and the all-around champion at the Olympic Test Event in Athens.[1][4] She was the only gymnast at the Test Event to qualify for all four event finals,[citation needed] and she won a silver medal on vault and bronze on the uneven bars.[1] She then placed fourth in the all-around at the National Championships[1][5] and second at the Olympic Trials,[6] earning a spot on the Olympic team.[7][8]

At the Olympics, McCool competed all four events in the qualification round, but faltered on beam and floor and was excluded from the team finals lineup.[9][10] The United States team won the silver medal behind Romania.[11]

Post-Olympics controversy[edit]

After the Olympics, McCool joined the T.J. Maxx Tour of Olympic Champions, a nationwide gymnastics exhibition tour.[12] However, after finding out that the tour would not be stopping in her hometown, Kansas City, she joined the Rock 'N Roll Gymnastics Challenge, a rival tour, for its Kansas City show.[13] T.J. Maxx officials said they had not given McCool permission to do this, and dropped her from the rest of the tour.[14][15]

Robert Colarossi, the CEO of USA Gymnastics, issued a statement criticizing McCool's actions: "In an apparent belief that our Tour would not include a stop in Kansas City, but without first seeking our approval, Courtney committed to participate in the Kansas City stop of the Rock-N-Roll Gymnastics Tour," he wrote. "When we were made aware of this fact, we informed Courtney and her parents that we had added a Kansas City stop and that her performance in the Rock-N-Roll Tour would present a conflict with her obligations to our Tour, and a breach of her agreement with us. Being fully apprised of the consequences of that breach, Courtney made her decision to perform."[16] Weeks later, in January 2005, Colarassi resigned as CEO.[17]

Late in 2004, it emerged that McCool had been suffering from Kienbock's disease, a wrist condition that required surgery and prevented her from performing in further post-Olympic exhibitions.[18]

NCAA career[edit]

McCool earned a full scholarship to the University of Georgia beginning in the 2006–07 school year. In her freshman season, she helped the team win its third straight national title, scoring an event high of 9.95 on beam at the 2007 NCAA Women's Gymnastics Championships in Salt Lake City.[2] At the 2008 Championships in Athens, Georgia, McCool won the floor exercise and contributed to Georgia's fourth consecutive title.[2] In 2009, Georgia won a fifth straight title, and McCool was named an All-American on balance beam, where she scored her first 10.0.[2]


McCool performed the following routines in 2004:

Vault (Start Value: 9.7): 1½-twisting Yurchenko

Uneven bars (SV: 9.9): Kip, cast handstand (KCH); stalder shoot to high bar; KCH; underswing to blind turn + Khorkina; KCH; Gienger; KCH 1/2 + giant 3/2 (Dawes) + Tkatchev; KCH; giant 1/1 + shootover to handstand + underswing shoot to high bar; KCH; giant + giant + double layout dismount.

Balance beam (SV: 10.0): Front handspring mount (McCool); front aerial + back handspring 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.

Floor exercise (SV: 10.0): Popa + tuck jump 2/1; roundoff + back handspring + 2½ twist + front 1/1; double turn with leg above horizontal + wolf jump 1/1; switch ring leap + Gogean; triple full; front double twist + front layout.

McCool's balance beam mount, a front handspring with a two-foot landing, is named after her in the International Federation of Gymnastics' Code of Points because she was the first to perform it at the Olympics.[19]

Floor music[edit]

2004: "Peter Gunn Theme"


  1. ^ a b c d e f "Courtney McCool" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-07-24. 
  2. ^ a b c d "Courtney McCool Bio". Retrieved 2016-07-25. 
  3. ^ "10 National Championships". Retrieved 2016-07-25. 
  4. ^ Garcia, Marlen (2004-06-03). "She's true to her roots". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2016-07-25. 
  5. ^ Macur, Juliet (2004-06-24). "Being Good Isn't Always Enough for U.S. Team". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2016-07-25. 
  6. ^ "U.S. Gymnastics Olympic Trials Results". 2004-06-28. Retrieved 2016-07-25. 
  7. ^ Elliott, Helene (2004-07-19). "Bhardwaj, Hatch Are on Team". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2016-07-25. 
  8. ^ Boeck, Greg (2004-07-18). "U.S. women's gymnastics squad finalized". Retrieved 2016-07-25. 
  9. ^ Boeck, Greg (2004-08-17). "Coaches opt to drop McCool for final round of team event". Retrieved 2016-07-25. 
  10. ^ Wickersham, Seth (2004-08-17). "McCools watch along with Courtney". Retrieved 2016-07-25. 
  11. ^ Boeck, Greg (2004-08-17). "Romania wins gold in women's gymnastics, U.S. silver". Retrieved 2016-07-25. 
  12. ^ "T.J. Maxx Announces Sponsorship for T.J. Maxx 2004 Tour of Gymnastics Champions". 2004-09-15. Retrieved 2016-07-25. 
  13. ^ Swift, E.M. (2004-10-04). "After the Gold Rush". Sports Illustrated. Retrieved 2016-07-25. 
  14. ^ "Performance For Rival Gets Gymnast Cut From T.J. Maxx Tour". Sports Business Daily. 2004-09-22. Retrieved 2016-07-25. 
  15. ^ Martinez, Paul (2004-10-01). "Two different gymnastic tours duel for post-Athens fans". Women's Sports Photo World. Retrieved 2016-07-25. 
  16. ^ "Letter From USAG President Robert Colarossi" (PDF). Retrieved 2016-07-24. 
  17. ^ Elliott, Helene (2005-01-13). "USA Gymnastics Chief to Step Down". Los Angeles Times. ISSN 0458-3035. Retrieved 2016-07-25. 
  18. ^ Yanda, Steve (2005-02-21). "Dreams can come true". Globe Gazette. Retrieved 2016-07-25. 
  19. ^ Grimsley, Elizabeth (2015-03-18). "Balance beam dictionary part 4: Breaking down dismounting from the beam". The Red & Black. Retrieved 2016-07-25. 

External links[edit]

Video interviews[edit]