Bronco gymnastics currently boasts two Olympians as team captains – seniors Courtney McGregor and Isabella Amado.
While Amado continues to serve as a front-runner for Boise State, earning titles in beam and floor, McGregor now watches from the sideline with a knee walker.
During the first meet of the season at UCLA, McGregor suffered a ruptured Achilles in her vault performance. She will be unable to participate in the remainder of her senior season or qualify for a second visit to the Olympics.
During a press conference in January, head coach Tina Bird discussed the shock and disappointment she and the team felt in reaction to McGregor’s injury.
“We were really excited for her, especially with the Olympics in the same year, just to buckle down and have a great college season and then to build on that for her international career,” Bird said. “So it was devastating when she got hurt.”
McGregor has since come to terms with her inability to compete and has found silver linings in her situation.
“I still feel like I’m contributing, just in a different way,” McGregor said.
Until recently, McGregor’s role at Boise State was as a dominant all-around competitor.
Since arriving on campus as a freshman, McGregor has dominated in multiple events. From 2017 to 2019, McGregor racked up five wins in the all-around category, most notably with a score of 39.500 against Utah State in 2018.
Due to her season-ending injury, McGregor has transitioned from a lead-by-example method to a solely support-based style.
Despite her inability to compete, McGregor is in the gym every day alongside her teammates, engaging with them on a deeper level than before.
Prior to becoming a Bronco, McGregor represented New Zealand in the 2016 Summer Olympic Games in Rio. In qualifications, she placed 41st in all-around (53.165) and 13th in vault (14.533).
McGregor’s history of competing on a global level has given her a unique perspective to share with her teammates who have spent less time in the limelight. She understands the pressure to perform well when all eyes are watching.
“As someone who has a lot of experience competing, I definitely try to help out the younger ones who have had to step up and fill those roles,” McGregor said.
Bird also thanks McGregor’s extensive resume for the maturity the captain displays both in the gym and on the road.
“She just has a calming presence,” Bird said. “She’s very businesslike and confident, and I think that rubs off on everybody.”
McGregor is spending much more time directly advising her teammates on technique; her positive attitude through injury recovery exemplifies resilience for her fellow gymnasts.
According to Bird, McGregor has devoted herself to the betterment of the team and hopes to see each athlete achieve their potential.
“She’s letting the kids know that we’re all in this together, even though she can’t be out there with us,” Bird said.
When the BYU Cougars came to the ExtraMile Arena on Jan. 31, McGregor’s selfless attitude was very much on display. As each gymnast finished their event, McGregor met them on the sideline with cheers and hugs.
Among those congratulated by McGregor was junior Tatum Bruden, who had earned the event title in floor (9.850).
Bruden discussed the adversity her team faced in losing McGregor and claimed that the dynamic has shifted.
“It’s brought us a lot closer – not just as teammates, but as sisters,” Bruden said.
After tying for first place with Utah State in their home quad-meet on Feb. 21, the Broncos (4-5-1) move on to face Southern Utah on Feb. 28 in Cedar City, Utah.