Chapman Wins Gold at 2013 Deaflympics

SOFIA, Bulgaria — For the second consecutive summer, Columbus State University athletics has made noise on the international level. On Friday morning, CSU women's tennis player Laura Chapman won a gold medal in women's doubles at the 2013 Deaflympics. The games are being held in Sofia, Bulgaria. 

Chapman and her doubles partner Emily Hangstefer completed their journey this morning with a 6-4, 6-1 victory over second-seeded Chiu-Mei Ho and Hsiu-Hsiang Ho of Chinese Taipei. 

"I can't explain how happy I am that Emily and I won this match," said Chapman. "It honestly hasn't really set in for us that we won a gold medal for our country." 

It was the first gold medal for the United States in tennis since the 1997 Deaflympics games. Also, it marks the first time that the USA won the gold in women's doubles since 1993 when Mary Reilly and Paige Stringer won the competition. Ironically, the '93 games took place in Sofia. 

"This is a great day for CSU athletics and especially the women's tennis program," stated head coach Evan Isaacs. "Laura deserves this honor as much as anyone I know and I couldn't be prouder of her. She puts in so much time on the court and she has made the whole Columbus community proud." 

Along the way, Chapman and Hangstefer defeated the top-three seeds in the tournament not dropping a set. In fact in eight sets played, the American duo lost just two or more games in a set three times. 

Chapman also participated in the singles and mixed doubles competion in the games. In singles play, she won the opening round match before bowing out to the top-seed. In mixed doubles, Chapman and her partner Bradford Minns reached the quarterfinal round before dropping a match against the top-seeded duo. 

Chapman, a Columbus native, graduated from Hardaway High School in 2010. 

This is the second consecutive summer that a member of the Columbus State athletic family has won a gold medal in international competition as assistant rifle coach Jamie Gray won a gold medal in the 2012 London Olympics. 

The Deaflympics was created in 1924 by the International Committee of Sports for the Deaf.  

This season, Chapman helped the Columbus State University tennis team to a 22-4 record as the Lady Cougars reached the NCAA Tournament Round of 16 for the fifth time in program history.