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Former Hawkeye Gymnast Competing in Rio Olympics

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(Courtesy: Houry Gebeshian)

(Courtesy: Houry Gebeshian)

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.

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