2008 Olympic team bronze-medalist will represent U.S. at World Stars/World Cup competition in Moscow May 29-30

COLUMBUS, Ohio Raj Bhavsar, a member of the Ohio State men’s gymnastics team from 2000-03 and 2008 Olympic team bronze-medalist, was named as the recipient of the South Asian Excellence Award for sports in the Grand Ballroom of Cipriani’s Hotel in New York City on May 9.

Bhavsar helped the U.S. men’s gymnastics team win the bronze medal at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China, with Miles Avery, Bhavsar’s coach at Ohio State and four-time U.S. assistant coach, on the floor. An alternate on the 2004 U.S. Olympic Team, Bhavsar was initially an alternate to the 2008 U.S. Olympic Team, but was named to the squad after Paul Hamm withdrew because of an injury.

He was a member of the 2001 U.S. World Championships Team that earned an unprecedented silver medal and he helped the U.S. men defend that medal at the 2003 World Championships.

At Ohio State, the Houston native captured the 2002 NCAA all-around championship and helped the Buckeyes to their third NCAA team title in 2001. He graduated from The Ohio State University with a major in business administration/marketing in 2004.

The South Asian Excellence Awards include science, entertainment, technology, social service, performing and visual arts, business, literature and sports. A special award was given to a Young Achiever demonstrating excellence in their field, one for South Asian Personality of the Year, a Lifetime Achiever award, and a new award this year, Good Earth, to a person whose life is aimed at protecting the environment. A panel of four judges Vijay Amritraj, Dr. Bhaswati Bhattacharya, Ketan Gandhi and Karim Rammal decided the winners, who were announced at the dinner.

Bhavsar, a U.S. Men’s National team member, will be in action this month as he competes at the World Stars/World Cup in Moscow, Russia, May 29-30. Joining him on the squad will be 2008 Olympic teammate Joey Hagerty, Guillermo Alvarez (former Minnesota gymnast), Chris Brooks (former Oklahoma gymnast) and David Sender (former Stanford gymnast).