Denver Pioneer gymnast Olympic-bound again
When you have Olympic rings tattooed on your back, it’s not just because you are a fan of the Olympics. It’s because you are competing in them.
Now the University of Denver`s most decorated gymnast is headed to the Summer Games for the second time. Jessica Lopez will represent her country of Venezuela and the 5-time All-American will compete in the all-around competition.
In 2008 at Beijing, Lopez finished 43rd all around.
“I just went there and had fun,” Lopez said.
Now Lopez is 26 years old in an event where the average age is 16-17. But her coach Nilson Medeiros said that experience could be as much of a helping hand as it is a hindrance.
“The young girls can sustain and train a little bit different than Jessica does now,” Medeiros said. “But she understands much more about her body.”
With these likely being her last games, the stakes will be high for Lopez. Good thing Lopez doesn’t mind a little pressure and hard work.
“For me, (these Games are) going to mean a lot,” Lopez said. “I’ve put a lot of hard work into the sport — not only for the past four years but for my whole life.”