Little girls sat eagerly in chairs lining Georgia’s gymnastics practice gym Tuesday. Fans of all ages came out to watch the GymDogs practice before for the upcoming NCAA Semifinals Friday in Fort Worth, Texas.
Georgia gymnastics head coach Courtney Kupets Carter allowed for an open practice to thank the Bulldawg Nation for being supportive throughout the season. Many fans are traveling to Texas, and Kupets Carter said that a strong fan base has a huge impact on her athletes.
“It makes them feel excited. Having people come to travel and to watch them and interact with them brings this level of, ‘They’re here for us. To watch us. To help us.’ Fans really do help the team so much, and I don’t know if the girls have realized that more now, or if fans even realize that, but they are so excited and we are so thankful for fans to come…” Kupets Carter said.
This year the ladies tabled at the Tate Student Center to encourage students to come out to their meets, and Kupets Carter said that they worked on being more interactive with their fans. Junior Sabrina Vega echoed what Kupets Carter said about fans helping the team.
“Whenever we have a big crowd it just makes it feel like at home, so we’re really excited to know that a lot of fans are coming down to Texas with us… Just bringing that Georgia Pride with us,” Vega said.
This year nationals is set up differently than it was in years past. Competition is two days instead of one, but the ladies said that they have been training for this, and they performed well at the two-day regional competition.
As for senior Sydney Snead, this will be her last time competing for the Georgia Bulldogs.
“It is bittersweet because it is coming to an end, but it’s also exciting because we are at nationals, so I feel like it’s not really going to hit me until we’re done,” Snead said.
Snead and the rest of the athletes are prepared for this upcoming weekend—mentally and physically. Nationals will be the true test of this past year’s hard work. Georgia is slated to compete against Oklahoma Friday at 7 p.m. If they advance, the NCAA Championship game will be Saturday.
Fans not traveling to the meet can keep up with the team on ESPN2 or streamed on ESPN.