Athlete of the Week: Brooklyn Kopsack of UAA gymnastics

KYES News at 6
Published: Feb. 15, 2022 at 5:18 PM AKST
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ANCHORAGE, Alaska (KTUU) - Brooklyn Kopsack is the only Alaskan on the University of Alaska Anchorage gymnastics team, and while she is now a sophomore in school, she is just a freshman in the leotard.

Kopsack grew up just 40 miles away in Palmer, but that doesn’t mean she hasn’t come a long way, going from a small club gymnast to Division I college gymnastics.

“It was really fun growing up being like, the highest level from my gym to go through the levels, and all the little girls would look up to me, so it was a really cool experience” Brooklyn Kopsack Said.

Using what she learned at Excel Gymnastics in Palmer, she has become a key piece of the UAA gymnastics team. Right now, her specialty is vault, were she regularly scores a 9.525 or higher and she is currently working on her floor routine and beam routine.

Kopsack is an explosive gymnast, meaning she gets some serious air when she is doing her routines. Her coach said that now Kopsack just needs to work on consistency. Along with being a key part of the team during competitions, being the only Alaskan has other benefits.

“It’s definitely very special to have an Alaskan on the team,” said Sophie-Marie Boggash, head coach for UAA gymnastics. “Last year I would say it was even more exciting just because we had several lockdowns where our team really was able to bond and go on several Alaskan adventures that Brooklyn was the tour guide for. And that is very special, and we’re really excited to have her, and to have her contribute to our competitive lineup as well, which is very special for Alaskan gymnast for sure.”

During the pandemic, the team had more opportunities to train, and Kopsack said she became like the team’s tour guide.

“And so I brought them everywhere,” she said. “We went down to Seward, Whittier, to Hatcher Pass — everywhere. We went to Fairbanks over spring break so it was really fun.”

Brooklyn has not had the traditional first two years of college gymnastics. Not only did the pandemic keep them from competing last year, but their program was set to be cut by the university unless they could raise two years of operating costs. When Alaska’s News Source talked with Kopsack just over a year ago she even said that if it didn’t work out here, she would try to transfer to keep the college gymnastics dream alive.

With the help of her teammates, coaches and the community, though, they raised the money and now she gets to compete in front of friends and family.

“My family is like, so supportive and they all just encourage me so much,” Kopsack said. “They think I’m the best gymnast ever even though I’m obviously not, but they treat me like that so yeah, they’re definitely my No. 1 fans.”

Right now as a freshman, she is already in the starting lineups for the vault and it won’t be long before she is representing her home state in the beam and floor routine for years to come.

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