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Powell River gymnasts excel in virtual competition

Athletes qualify for BC championships

Powell River Gymnastics and Circus Competitive Team athletes participated in the Christy Fraser Memorial Invitational virtual competition and finished with outstanding results.

According to a media release from Powell River Gymnastics and Circus Arts, all athletes qualified for the BC championships, which will also be held virtually, at the end of April.

Paulo Pena and Trystinna Bailey, the competitive coaching team, stated that the event gave the athletes a goal and motivation to continue training in a challenging time. 

“Like many local sports and activities, we were closed for an extended period of time, and gymnastics requires constant training to excel,” stated Pena. “I was proud of the energy and perseverance demonstrated by the team.”

Leading up to the competition, COVID-19 protocols and a reduction in coach’s spotting had everyone training in a different way. The format of the competition was uncommon, too. Considering competing virtually was new for all involved, the camaraderie ran high with the team cheering and pushing each other on, according to the release. Normally, competitions take place in front of an audience, which buoys the athletes up. Friends and family were not permitted to watch in person this time, due to COVID safety rules. Instead, families logged on via Zoom. Despite everything, the team performed extremely well, and everyone had a great time, according to the release.

The competition, sponsored by the Langley Gymnastics Foundation, included athletes from all over BC.

Competition results

Boys provincial level one: Digory Van Tol – silver on floor; silver on pommel horse; silver on rings; gold on vault; silver on parallel bars; silver on high bar; gold all-around.

Girls junior Olympic level one: Cora Pena – silver on vault; silver on bars; silver on beam; gold on floor; silver all-around. Xiya Liu – gold on vault; gold on bars; gold on beam; gold on floor; gold all-around.

Girls junior Olympic level two: Kinsley Foster – second on vault; fifth on bars; first on beam; third on floor; second all-around.

Girls junior Olympic level three: Melodie Ouellet – 12th on vault; 10th on bars; ninth on beam; 11th on floor; 11th all-around. Larissa Laing – fifth on vault; 13th on bars; seventh on beam, 13th on floor; 12th all-around.

Girls junior Olympic level four – junior: Hadley Foster – fourth on vault; first on bars; third on beam; second on floor; first all-around.

Girls junior Olympic level four – senior: Cheyenne Choo – sixth on vault; fourth on bars; sixth on beam; second on floor; fourth all-around. Elise English – seventh on vault; first on bars; fifth on beam; fourth on floor; fifth all-around.

Athletes excel in 'fun' categories

Powell River athletes also participated in fun contests and won all the categories: The blooper contest went to Larissa Laing on the bars, who showed a great attitude despite a mistake. The handstand contest was won by Cheyenne Choo, who held her handstand the longest without moving. The entire team won the best distance cheer.

Videos of the contests are posted on the gym’s Instagram account: instagram.com/prgymnastics.

In addition, English won the Christy Fraser Memorial Award. According to the release, this award is given to an athlete who demonstrates the same attributes Christy had shown before she passed away at a young age in 1992.

“Elise has incredible team spirit and always has a grin on her face,” stated Pena. “It was an honour to put her name forth.”

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