IOWA CITY, Iowa — A former University of Iowa gymnast will be competing in the Rio Olympics but not for Team USA.
The university says 26-year-old Houry Gebeshian, a surgical physician’s assistant at the Cleveland Clinic will be representing the Republic of Armenia. She’s the first and only female gymnast to represent the republic in the Olympics.
Gebeshian, a native of Massachusetts who has dual Armenian and American citizenship, was a member of the Hawkeyes’ gymnastics team from 2008 to 2011. While competing for Iowa she received several All-Big Ten honors.
“My years at Iowa helped me mature as a woman, athlete, and adult,” said Gebeshian. “Those characteristics have transferred to where I’m at now in life. I learned to compete there and it built a mental toughness in me.”
Gebeshian qualified for the Rio Olympics after competing in an Olympic Test Event in April.