NEW YORK -- Georgia gymnastics standout and two-time Honda Award winner Courtney Kupets has been awarded the 33rd annual Honda-Broderick Cup, designating her as the 2009 Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year.
The announcement was made Monday by the Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program in the Low Library Rotunda at Columbia University. The award recognizes not only outstanding athletic achievement but also team contributions, scholastics and community involvement.
Kupets, the first athlete from Georgia to be honored as Collegiate Woman Athlete of the Year, was presented with her award by softball legend Lisa Fernandez, the 1993 Honda-Broderick Cup winner. Kupets is only the second gymnast to receive the Honda-Broderick Cup in the 33-year history of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program. The first was Missy Marlowe from Utah in 1992.
Kupets was selected as winner of the Honda-Broderick Cup by a voting of nearly 1,000 NCAA member schools and the Board of Directors of the Collegiate Women Sports Awards Program.
"The Honda-Broderick Cup is a bit different than any other award, and it actually feels like the biggest award I've ever won," Kupets said. "I think one of the things that makes it so special for me is that it honors achievement in academics as well as in athletics. While going to school, it's sometimes hard to balance everything in your life, including sports, studies and friends. But winning this award shows me that if you work hard enough and put your heart and soul into something you can succeed in the end. As athletes, many of us understand that education is very important because that's what's going to get us through the rest of our lives."
Kupets was among five finalists for the Honda-Broderick Cup. This year's other finalists, voted by nearly 1,000 NCAA member schools, included: Jennifer Barringer, Colorado, track and field; Nicole Fawcett, Penn State, volleyball; Danielle Lawrie, Washington, softball; and Renee Montgomery, Connecticut, basketball.
As a senior, Kupets led Georgia to its fifth straight NCAA Championship title, and she won the all-around, bars, beam and floor individual competitions. She became the first gymnast ever to win a national title in all four events. She received five First-Team All-America honors, making a total of 15 for her career, the maximum for only competing three years (due to an injury she received in 2008).
Kupets is the all-time NCAA leader with nine individual championships and was named SEC, AAI National Senior and NCAA Southeast Regional Gymnast of the Year.
Kupets became the third Gym Dog ever to record a 10.0 in all four events. She had seven 10.0s this season, including three at the NCAAs.
At the 2004 Olympics, Kupets won a silver medal with the other Team USA members in the team all-around competition, as well as an individual bronze on bars.
Kupets is a National Honor Society member, was chosen as ESPN The Magazine First Team Academic All-American and is a recipient of NCAA and SEC postgraduate scholarships. She is also a member of the Blue Key Honor Society and a recipient of the Richard B. Russell Student Leadership Award. She won UGA's Marilyn Vincent Award as the senior female student-athlete with the highest GPA.
In addition to her athletic and academic achievements, Kupets has also worked with Special Olympians, participated in the "Do It For Broph" 5K Run/Walk and joined in the SEC "Together We Can" food drive.
Kupets is a Housing/Property Management major with a 3.8 GPA.