Gymnasts Courtney McGregor, Mikhail (Misha) Koudinov and Dylan Schmidt have been selected to the New Zealand Olympic Team to Rio, making up the largest gymnastics contingent to represent New Zealand in over 50 years.

This will be the first time since the Sydney 2000 Games that a New Zealand gymnast has competed at an Olympic Games.

All three first time Olympians have also made history as the first New Zealand trio to compete in three different gymnastics disciplines at an Olympic Games, as well as qualify directly through the international quota system, at the recent Rio Olympic Games test events.

While McGregor and Koudinov represent New Zealand in the men's and women's artistic gymnastics discipline, Schmidt ticks another historic box, becoming New Zealand's first ever trampoline athlete to compete at an Olympic Games.

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18-year-old McGregor from the Christchurch School of Gymnastics has been making her mark on the world stage since 2012. She had a particularly strong showing in 2014 with a history making vault final at the World Cup in Doha, followed by a silver medal in vault finals at the Pacific Rim Championships. She then stepped it up with a 17th place vault finish at the World Championships last year.

McGregor will compete on all four apparatus in Rio, with a stronger focus towards her specialty apparatus of vault.


Speaking soon after her selection was confirmed, McGregor was both thrilled and relieved to have her spot in the team locked in.

"When I first found out it didn't feel real and it took a while to actually sink in. But then I did a handstand lap around the lounge! I am proud to be going as so many people have worked towards this," said McGregor.

"I knew I wanted to be an Olympian as soon as I started gymnastics. At primary school I always said I wanted to be an Olympic Gymnast when I grew up, without actually realising all of the hard work it would take!"

24-year-old Koudinov from North Harbour Gymnastics began his international career when he was named as the youngest member in New Zealand's 2006 Melbourne Commonwealth Games Team.

Koudinov then took up a four-year college scholarship with the Ohio State Buckeyes in 2010 where he continued to climb his way up the world rankings, finishing just 0.234 off making the parallel bar finals at the World Championships last year.

Misha will compete on all six apparatus in Rio, specialising in parallel bars.

For Koudinov, Olympic selection is a massive milestone after many years of hard work and dedication.

"I felt like I was 10 years old on Christmas morning, and Santa got me exactly what I wanted. I've known I've wanted to compete at the Olympic Games since I started gymnastics - I felt it was my destiny to dedicate my life to it and reach as high as possible," he said.

For 19-year-old Schmidt, selection into the Olympic Team today cements his spot in the history books tops off an impressive few years in the sport.

From Extreme Trampoline in Onehunga, Auckland, Schmidt secured his place for Rio in emphatic fashion winning a silver medal at the Olympic Test Event last month. This followed on from strong performances in 2015 also, with a top 10 finish at last year's World Championships in Denmark.

"It's a surreal feeling to have been selected to the New Zealand Olympic Team and a huge honour to be the first New Zealand trampoline athlete to do so," he said.

"I can't wait to compete on the biggest stage, representing my country and doing the best that I can."

The three athletes selected today brings the total number of athletes selected into the New Zealand Olympic Team to Rio to 81 athletes.