World Medalist Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs Signs National Letter Of Intent

May 16, 2007

World Gymnastics Championships medalist Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs of Toronto, Ontario, Canada has signed a national letter of intent to attend UCLA. Hopfner-Hibbs will defer enrollment as she trains for next year's Olympic Games and will join the Bruin gymnastics squad in the fall of 2008 and compete in the 2009 season.

Hopfner-Hibbs won a bronze medal on the balance beam at the 2006 World Championships, becoming the first Canadian woman ever to win a World medal. She is a three-time Canadian National Champion, winning the 2006 all-around and floor exercise titles and the 2005 balance beam title. She won multiple medals at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, capturing golds on bars and beam, a silver in the all-around and a bronze in team competition. Her all-around mark at the 2006 Commonwealth Games actually tied for first place, but she was awarded the silver medal based on a tiebreak rule. Hopfner-Hibbs, who trains at Sport Seneca under coaches Carol-Angela Orchard, Brian McVey and Lawson Hamer, was the sole Canadian woman to compete at the 2005 World Championships.

'Elyse caught my attention four years ago, and ever since then, I've been hoping for the day she would become a Bruin,' said UCLA head coach Valorie Kondos Field. 'Elyse follows in a long line of Canadians who have brought innvoative gymnastics skills and international competitive experience to our program.'

Hopfner-Hibbs will be the eighth Canadian national champion to compete for the Bruins, joining compatriots Ashley Peckett, Kate Richardson, Yvonne Tousek, Lena Degteva, Stella Umeh, Leah Homma and Gigi Zosa.

To watch footage of Hopfner-Hibbs from the 2006 World Championships, click HERE.

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