Full Twist contributor Anna Rose Johnson recently caught up with USA’s Courtney Kupets Carter to discuss her decorated career, the CK Pink Invitational, and what she’s up to now!
Courtney Kupets is one of USA’s most versatile gymnasts. At her debut World Championships in 2002, she came away with the gold medal on uneven bars. At the 2004 Olympic Games, she helped Team USA to a silver medal and also won bronze on bars, despite having torn her Achilles tendon just a year before the Games. Throughout her NCAA career at the University of Georgia, she won twelve National Championships titles (nine of them individual), and won the all-around gold three times.
FT: What have you been up to lately?
CK: There have been a lot of new things happening lately. I got married this past June to Chris Carter. What an amazing day! I started a new job at Le Reve at the Wynn hotel in Las Vegas! I just got a puppy, a little black Labrador, and will begin working with the SEC Network on some of the SEC gymnastics meets.
FT: Do you ever consider making a comeback in gymnastics?
CK: I considered working elite skills before the 2008 Games but found that working college skills and elite routines was not something I would be able to maintain and wanted to keep my commitment to the University of Georgia and complete my four years! Unfortunately, not long after I tore my Achilles and was out for the year anyway. I have had some hard times in gymnastics but looking back, I have truly loved all my experiences in the sport and feel so thankful to have competed for my country and [for the] University of Georgia!! But other than that the only comeback I have made is performing, which is an aspect of gymnastics in itself!
FT: What was your favorite skill to compete?
CK: My favorite skill to compete was a double layout [off] bars. When you stick a double layout off bars, there [is] truly no better feeling.
FT: What are some of your favorite memories from competition?
CK: My favorite memories, I feel like I have so many. One memory is when I was a junior international elite and we had a competition in California with Tabitha Yim. After the meet we went to Disney and had so much fun! In college my last competition was the 2009 NCAA’s. It was Individual day and I was in all four events. You only get an hour to warm up and touch on each event. I will never forget how it felt like a marathon running from one event to another trying to warm up everything. Exhaustion was setting in for sure, and that [was] when my last event, beam, brought a feeling like no other. I have a strong faith, and before that last beam routine I prayed and just gave the outcome to God, let loose and mounted. That entire routine I almost felt as if I was watching myself and when I landed I knew God had been with me, and it was just one of those moments you have in life you cherish.
FT: What’s a typical day like for you now?
CK: I don’t think there is such a thing as a typical day for me. Every day is so different, and at times it can be frustrating but I am so blessed to still be able to explore life and possibilities. As much as I like structure and routine, I don’t have one right now. But a few things I like to get into my routine is a nice run, play time with the puppy, work of course which involves performing two shows a day, and of course a little TV time.
FT: Can you tell us about your competition, the Courtney Kupets Pink Invitational?
CK: The CK Pink invitational was started through an idea that Drew Davis, owner of Rockdale Gymnastics, had. Drew runs several meets but wanted to have a meet that would give support to a charity. That is when we partnered up to start the CK Pink meet in Savannah, GA, where proceeds go to the Susan G Komen foundation. It is a great way for young girls to start learning about breast cancer and help to give support. Savannah is a great place for the meet! The venue is walking distance from several hotels, and there is a great historical aspect that you don’t get in many places. The meet is overall a lot of fun, and has a great competition factor for all levels!
FT: Is there anything you’d like to share with the Full Twist readers?
CK: Just to say thank you for loving the sport of gymnastics. I was blessed to be able to compete in one of the best sports in the world, and although it was only a brief time of my life the memories and lessons I learned from gymnastics will last with me forever.
Many thanks to Courtney for chatting with Full Twist!
Image via Andy Crabb