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Jan. 13, 2012
UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. - Nittany Lion men's gymnast Felix Aronovich (Kiryat Bialik, Israel) has qualified for the 2012 Summer Olympics based on his performance at a test event earlier this week in London, England. A junior at Penn State, Aronovich will compete as an individual, representing his native country of Israel.
The gymnastics competition at the 2012 London Olympics will take place from July 28-August 7 at North Greenwich Arena on the banks of the River Thames. A total of 98 of the world's top men's gymnasts will vie for team and individual honors at the 30th Games of the Olympiad.
After earning Big Ten Co-Freshman of the Year honors in 2010, Aronovich followed his rookie campaign up with a standout 2011 sophomore season, setting career highs in five events (floor exercise, pommel horse, still rings, vault, and parallel bars) and in the all-around. He recorded Penn State's highest scores of the season in the pommel horse (15.100), parallel bars (15.400), and the all-around (87.150) and ended 2011 nationally ranked in the parallel bars, high bar, and still rings. Overall, Aronovich recorded 20 top three finishes, winning a total of 12 titles.
Aronovich was named National Gymnast of the Week for the first time in his career on March 3 after capturing two first place finishes (parallel bars and all-around) and a third place (high bar) versus Ohio State and then, one week later, earned his second career Big Ten Gymnast of the Week honor for placing first in the all-around and parallel bars and second in the high bar in road tri-meet with Minnesota and Iowa.
Born in Odessa, Ukraine, Aronovich possesses an extensive international resume. He competed in the European Championships from 2004-2009 and at the World Championships in 2006 (Aarhus, Denmark) and 2010 (Rotterdam, Netherlands). At the 2008 World Cup in Cotbus, Germany, Aronovich placed ninth in the pommel horse.
Aronovich was recognized as a Gymnast to Watch in the Big Ten's 2012 preseason release, which also had Penn State ranked No. 3 in the conference coaches' poll.
Penn State, ranked No. 6 nationally in the GymInfo Preseason Coaches Poll, opens the 2012 season on Saturday when it hosts No. 14 Army in a 7 p.m. dual meet at Rec Hall.