Feb. 9, 2004
Crowned NCAA Champion and All-American on the high bar in 2003, Linas Gaveika, a gymnast from Vilnius, Lithuania, has been added to the McLeodUSA StarHawks team at the University of Iowa.
“Linas is perhaps the most determined person I have ever had the pleasure of coaching,” said UI Head Coach Tom Dunn. “He is not a natural athlete, but sets reasonable goals and keeps his nose to the grindstone.”
“From university admissions hurdles he had to overcome to the rehabilitation of last season’s dislocated ankles, Linas was always persevering and optimistic.”
Iowa Coach Tom Dunn
For someone who is not a natural athlete in his coach’s opinion, Gaveika has done remarkably well in his sport. In addition to the NCAA Champion and All-American crowns he earned on the high bar in 2003, Gaveika was also crowned Big Ten Champion on high bar and was named to the all-Big Ten team. He is the top returning scorer on the pummel horse and in the all-around. He was the recipient of the N. R. Holzaepfel MVP Award last season as well.
Gaveika transferred to the University of Iowa after one year at a Lithuanian University. “From university admissions hurdles he had to overcome to the rehabilitation of last season’s dislocated ankles, Linas was always persevering and optimistic,” according to Dunn.
So far this season, Gaveika’s perseverance and optimism seem to be serving him well. In last week’s loss to fourth ranked Oklahoma, he was crowned All-Around Champion with a six-event score of 53.925 as well as earning event champion crowns in the pummel horse and high bar.
A junior, Gaveika is majoring in Russian/international business. “Since he does set reasonable goals and does what needs to be done to attain them, 99% of the time he is in good spirits and a very positive force in our gym,” Dunn said. “You can’t ask much more of a person than to provide leadership through determination, hard work and example.”