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Lenka's Olympic Dream Becomes Real After 22 Years in Trampoline

New Jersey, August 8, 2008- Trampoline gymnast Lenka Honzakova Popkin of Czech Republic, a central European land-locked country, is all set to compete in the Beijing Olympics to be held on August 8-24 in Beijing, China.

Lenka won many national and international competitions during her 22 years in Trampoline, but she always had a dream to participate in the Olympics. She was infected with the enthusiasm for competition from the age of 9 whence began an odyssey which took her to world level championship competitions around the globe. Her distinguished record is shown below.


Lenka performing her Trampoline. Photo courtesy: Lenka

Only in the 2000 Olympic Games in Sydney, Australia, was Trampoline recognized as an Olympic sport. Lenka could not participate in 2004 Athens Olympics due to injuries. The sport of Trampoline Gymnastics is a relatively new sport, distinct from other gymnastics, with few training centers available, for example, even in all of the U.S. with its 535 Beijing Olympic athletes, there are only 6 trampoline training centers, with 2 in New Jersey and none in New York State.
 
Her expectations are guardedly modest because, as she explained to this reporter, she has suffered several injuries over the years of competing which create additional challenges for her. “There are many talented players competing in the Olympics,” she said “but I am happy and proud to be selected and to be able to represent my country. Participating in the Olympics is itself a dream come true.”


Lenka talking to USNepalOnline.Com Editor-in-Chief. Photo: Margaret

Besides Trampoline as her life long career, Lenka recently completed professional training in hotel management and has been hired by Hyatt Regency Hotels & Resorts in New York City at entry level position.

After the Olympics she will start her new career. She is excited about her new adventure and said “I always wanted to be in the hospitality business where I can meet a lot of people and learn about them. And here I am.” When I asked about her goals in the hotel management industry, she recalled giving her answer to that question during her interview with the Hyatt HR Manager. She told him unequivocally that she wants to eventually rise to be a Chief Executive Manager. “Well,” her interviewer said “you may one day.” He was aware of the fact that she was a determined and accomplished international athlete with clear target to reach the top post.


Lenka with the owner and former bodybuilding champion Carmine at the Jersey City gym. Photo: eEyeCam

Lenka works as a fitness trainer at the Gold Coast Fitness Center in Jersey City, New Jersey, USA (
www.goldcoastfitnessnj.com). Her American husband, David Popkin is her official coach. They married in December, 2007 in her hometown in the Czech Republic surrounded by family and friends from both sides of the Atlantic. The starring guest, however, was their beloved dog, Rudy who flew home with them from New York to Teplice.


Lenka with her husband and trainer David Popkin. Photo courtesy: Lenka

Lenka plans to make her new home in the United States as she enters this next phase of her life after the Olympics.

Bonne chance, Lenka!

-Pradeep Thapa Magar in New Jersey. Comments? 551-358-7726

TV Live Coverage Schedule:
Saturday August 16th between 1:30pm and 4:00 pm on NBC.
http://www.nbcolympics.com/tv_and_online_listings/zone=ET/day=8/sport=GT/tv.html


Lenka's Olympic send-off at the Jersey City gym where she is a fitness trainer. Photo: eEyeCam


Lenka at the Trampoline training session. Photo courtesy: Lenka


Smiling at eEyeCam


Lenka is featured in one of her native country's news magazines.
 

Profile of Lenka Popkin

Name: Lenka Popkin
Date of Birth: April 16th, 1978
Place of Birth:
Teplice, Czech Republic
Married: December 29th, 2007
Husband: David Popkin
No children
Father’s name: Petr Honzak
Mother’s name: Hildegarda Honzakova
Brother: Michal Honzak, 35 years old
Sister: Petra
Honzakova, 34 years old
Started with trampoline: 1987 in Litomerice, Czech Republic
Since 1990 – international competitions
2003 moved and has been training in New Jersey, USA

 Results:
Individua
l
National :
8x Czech republic Champion (1995, 1996, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2004, 2005)
Czech Cup Champion (1998)
2x Junior Czech republic Champion (1995, 1996)

International:
World Championship :  9. place in Canada 1996 (Vancouver)
                                         17. place in Australia 1998 (Sydney)
                                         23. place in Denmark 2001 (Odense)
                                         23. place in Canada 2007 (Québec)
                                        26. place in Holland 2005 (Eindhoven)
                                        29. place in South Africa 1999 (Sun City)
                                        42. place in Portugal 1994 (Porto)
                                        45. place in Germany 2003 (Hannover)

World Cup :                 6. place in France 1998 (Antibes)
                                       7. place in Denmark 1998 (Haslev)
                                       8. place in Czech republic 1994 (Mladá Boleslav)
                                       8. place in New Zealand 1997 (Auckland)
                                       8. place in Poland 1998 (Poznan)
                                       9. place in Czech republic 1996 (Ostrava)
                                       9. place in world cup series final in Portugal 1998/1999 (Tavira)
                                      10. place in Australia 1997 (Sydney)
                                      13. place in Germany 1996 (Frankfurt)
                                      13. place in Switzerland 1994 (St. Moritz)
                                      14. place in Belgium 2005 (Ostende)
                                      15. place in Switzerland 1998 (Vevey)
                                      18. place in Belgium 2007 (Ostende)
                                      20. place in Czech republic 1999 (Prague)
                                      22. place in Germany 2006 (Salzgtter)
                                      22. place in Poland 2007 (Zielona Gora)
                                      23. place in Germany 2004 (Aachen)
                                     25. place in France 1995 (Sens)
                                     26. place in Czech republic 2003 (Prague)
                                     26. place in France 2005 (Levallois)
                                     27. place in Russia 1999 (St. Petersburg
)
                     
27. place in Russia 2005 (Krasnodar)
                                     28. place in Great Britain 2000 (Guiildford)
                                     29. place in Germany 1999 (Aachen)
                                    
29. place in Russia 2000 (Vienna)
                                    29. place in Switzerland 2006 (Savognin)
                                    29. place in Canada 2007 (Quebec)
                                    32. place in USA 2007 (Lake Placid)
                                    34. place in Russia 2004 (Moskau)
                                    35. place in Germany 2001 (Hannover)

European Champ :   10. place in Germany 1998 (Dessau)
                                    17. place in Bulgaria 2004 (Sofie)
                                    19. place in Holland 1997 (Eindhoven)
                                    23. place in Russia 2002 (St. Petersburg)
                                    27. place in France 1995 (Antibes)
                                    43. place in Holland  2000 (Eindhoven)
                                    44. place in Switzerland 1993 (Sursee)

Junior European Champ : 7. place in Russia 1996 (St. Petersburg)
                                               19. place in Belgium 1994 (Houthalen-Helchteren)
                                               31. place in Belgium 1992 (Deinze)

International Friendship Cup in Czech republic :  2x winner (2006, 2007)

Synchronized competitions with Petra Jurickova (Vachnikova):
National :
4x Czech republik Champions (1997, 1998, 2000, 2001)
2x Czech Cup winners (1998, 1999)
Junior Czech republic Champions (1994)
International :
World Games :              6. place in Finland 1997 (Lahti)
World Championship :5. place in Canada 1996 (Vancouver)
World Cups :                2. place in Czech republic 1996 (Ostrava)
                                       2. place in Australia 1997 (Sydney)
                                       3. place in New Zealand 1997 (Auckland)
                                       3. place in Czech republic 1999 (Prague)
                                       3. place in Czech republic 2003 (Prague)
                                       4. place in World Cup series in Germany 1996/1997 (Dessau)
                                       4. place in Great Britain 2000 (Guildford)
                                       6. place in World Cup series in Portugal 1998/1999 (Tavira)
                                       qualified to World Cup series in Germany 1999/2000
European Championship: 5. place in Germany 1998 (Dessau)
                                              5. place in Holland 2000 (Eindhoven)
Junior European Championship :  Junior European Champions 1994 v Belgium (Helchteren-Houthalen)

International Friendship Cup in Czech republic : 2x winners (1995, 1998)

Synchronized competitons with Jitka Holickova :
National :
Czech republic Nationals : 2. place (2002)

Synchronized competitions with Libuse Pilzova :
National :
Czech republic Champions 2004
Czech Cup : 16. place (2003)
International :
World Cups : 4. place in Belgium 2005 (Ostende)
European Championship : 5. place in Russia 2002 (St. Petersburg)

Synchronized competitions with Magdalena Ruzickova:
National :
Junior Czech Republic Champions (1995)
International:
Junior European Championship : 4. place in Russia 1996 (St. Petersburg)

Teams :
National :
2x Czech Republic Team Champions (1997, 2001)
International :
European Championship : 4. place in Holland 1997 (Eindhoven)

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» Profiles of 8 Nepalese Athletes Competing in Beijing Olympics


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» 20 American Mothers in Beijing Olympics
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