2008 Olympic bronze medalist Raj Bhavsar will be inducted into the Ohio State Athletics Hall of Fame the weekend of Sept. 9-10, 2011. Bhavsar will join 10 other inductees who will be officially inducted Sept. 9 during a ceremonial dinner and introduced to the public at halftime of the Ohio State home football game against Toledo Sept. 10.
Raj Bhavsar, the 2002 OSU Male Athlete of the Year, won two NCAA individual titles during his time at Ohio State, claiming the parallel bars crown in 2001 before becoming the all-around champion in 2002. He earned nine All-America honors during his career, finishing in the Top 8 at the NCAA championships on four events as well as in the all-around. Bhavsar, a four-time first team All-Big Ten choice, was a four-time Big Ten champion (2002 - all-around, pommel horse and floor exercise, 2003 - parallel bars) and was named Big Ten Gymnast of the Year in 2002. He led the Buckeyes to an NCAA title in 2001 as well as conference championships in both 2001 and 2002.
In 2008, Bhavsar claimed a bronze medal with the U.S. Olympic Team in Beijing, China. As a member of the U.S. National Team, Bhavsar was an alternate on the 2004 Olympic Team and helped the U.S. squad win a silver medal at the 2001 and 2003 World Championships. Nationally, the Houston, Texas, native was the 2004 rings and 2003 vault national champion. Bhavsar finished second in the all-around at the 2008 Winter Cup Challenge. At the 2008 Visa Championships, he tied for third on vault and still rings and placed fifth in the all-around.
Bhavsar was a four-time Ohio State Scholar-Athlete, a 2003 CGA Academic All-American Scholar-Athlete and a three-time Academic All-Big Ten selection, earning his degree in business administration. Bhavsar, who retired from competitive gymnastics in 2010, has been a part of the Cirque Du Soleil show as a performer this past year.
Bhavsar on the honor of the hall of fame
"It is an incredible honor and I am humbled to be part of such a distinguished community. Years have gone by since my days at Ohio State, but the memories are never forgotten. I must first thank my parents and immediate family. Without their unconditional love and support, no accolade would have seemed attainable. Thank you to all my coaches, who not only shaped me into an incredible athlete, but also forged my character. Lastly, I thank my teammates and dedicate this honor to them. We toiled together through success and failure to finally realize that anything is possible when we come together."