June 2015

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109 C yrus Dobre-Mofid started a journey in 2011 and the final destination became clear soon aer. e talented gymnast turned a bad break (no pun intended) into a dream situation when he committed to the University of Iowa. At a time when many college coaches viewed Dobre-Mofied as damaged goods, Hawkeye head coach JD Reive thought otherwise. "Iowa gave me a second chance and becoming a Hawkeye was meant to be," Dobre-Mofied said at a UI Athletics Department All-Staff meeting May 13. "I realized I was part of something bigger than myself when I came to Iowa. Of all the invaluable things I learned from head coach JD Reive, the one thing that will always stick with me is that in all the goals and accomplishments, it is about the journey in which later the destination will follow." As a state champion high school gymnast from Hagerstown, Maryland, Dobre-Mofid caught the attention and scholarship offers from Penn State, Oklahoma, Ohio State, and Minnesota. e courtship continued at the USA Championships where Dobre-Mofid — the 10th-best junior gymnast in the nation — was attempting to earn a spot on the junior national team. "Everything seemed perfect," he said. His first event was high bar and on the first release move Dobre-Mofid fell, landing on his arm. Both bones in his le forearm were broken, with one piercing through skin. "I thought that I had failed, that all my dreams and goals had been broken," Dobre-Mofid said. His phone went silent for weeks. More time passed before Dobre-Mofid received another recruiting call. It was from the University of Iowa. "ey offered me a spot on their team, with scholarship," Dobre-Mofid said. Now a redshirt junior, Dobre-Mofid is a two-time Academic All-Big Ten Conference selection. In 2015, he competed in every competition, recording two career-bests. At the NCAA Championships on April 10 in Norman, Oklahoma, he tied for 22nd on horizontal bars (14.500), placed 27th on floor exercise (14.850), tied for 27th on vault (14.500), and tied for 28th on parallel bars (14.100). e Hawkeyes finished sixth as a team. "is is just the beginning as our goals continue to progress toward winning the national championship," Dobre-Mofid said. "But this has only been made possible because our team continues to thrive as one. When I say our team, I'm including this whole athletic department. I would like to speak on behalf of all student- athletes and share how grateful we are for all of the athletic department's support and opportunities we continue to be blessed with. You are all a team that truly values the development and success of your athletes through your dedication and commitment and we thank you for that." Dobre-Mofid received a bachelor's degree, will enroll in graduate school, and then return to the UI for a fih year in 2015-16. He is thrilled to be part of a Hawkeye men's gymnastics team that is realizing its goal to achieve an "admirable, honorable, and respectable reputation." By being a Hawkeye, Dobre-Mofid says he stands as a champion in both defeat and victory. "I am grateful for everything I have and this athletic department is what has made Hawkeye athletics one of the best programs in the nation," Dobre-Mofid said. "We are all part of this great team — the Hawkeyes — and we will continue to achieve great things because we continue to contribute to our part of the team. I will continue to fight, fight, and fight for Iowa until the game is won and until I have won in life; to give back to this institution that has supported me along the journey to reach my destination."

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