I am off to Kamloops tomorrow for the Canadian Gymnastics Championships.
I am excited to announce that I will be hosting a live webcast with coverage of the Men's and Women's AA competitions tomorrow night at 6pm Pacific. I will also be hosting the Event Finals on Saturday at 2pm Pacific as well.
Here is the link: http://www.Barabus.TRU.ca/gymnastics
And here is the link for the Championships themselves: www.canadiangymnastics2010.ca
There are a lot of new faces on the Senior scene and there are also a lot of faces missing this year.
Of note on the men's side, 2009 Canadian All-Around Champion Casey Sandy is missing in action due to a torn achilles tendon suffered at a training camp in Mexico in early 2010. Also missing is 2008 Olympian and 2005 World Championship Silver Medalist, Brandon Oneill, who suffered a devastating injury to his ACL at the same training camp which requires a full reconstruction. This injury will keep him sidelined for quite some time which is a huge disappointment for the program.
There have been a couple of retirements as well with Canadian great and 2 time Olympian, Adam Wong, making the tough decision to chase his professional goals and Jared Walls, a strong member of the Senior Canadian National team for almost a decade, deciding to hang up his grips and pursue life after gymnastics as well.
Look for Nathan Gafuik to dominate the Senior Men's category. Coming off a recent win at the Pacific Rim Championships in Melbourne, Australia, Nathan is hungry for his first Senior National title. And it is a title that he deserves. After being an alternate on the 2004 Olympic team, Nathan has slowly moved up the ranks and is finally starting to prove that he has the potential to be one of the best All-Arounders in the World. He has his sights set on an Olympic Medal in London and he has the goods to do it. In my opinion, this National title is his...the real question is, who will be second?
Other guys to watch for: Jayd Lukenchuk (so much potential, but can never hit...let's hope this competition is different!), Anderson Loran (Beautiful high bar as of late), Ken Ikeda (Um, like his brother Richard and a fine wine, Ken just keeps getting better with age) Jackson Payne (His World Champs experience really opened his eyes to the possibilities) and Kevin Lytwyn (BIG Gymnastics! He is really starting to come in to his own after his first season as a Senior last year).
On the womens side, notably missing from action is Brittany Rogers. She suffered an injury at the recent Pacific Rim Championships and has decided to save herself for the World Championships this fall. Good choice.
2009 Canadian Champion, Sydney Sawa, has a chance to make it 2 in a row, but she has some tough competition from young stars who are on the rise. Sydney has matured into a leader of the team, but hasn't really competed much this season which could play a role in her readiness.
Madeline Gardiner has long been known as that junior who people want to watch. Well, folks, she is here and she looks great! Interesting combinations, creative choreography and clean consistent routines should keep her in the top group. I'm excited about this athlete because she represents how innovation and attention to small details can make everyone take notice.
Dominique Pegg has competed a lot this year and she is starting to make a name for herself on the International gymnastics scene. She is powerful and dynamic and she has a presence on the floor that exudes "gymnast". She is clean, crisp and precise and if she hits all 4 events on Thursday night, she could come home with the title. I think this year is really teaching Dom how to compete and I think she will make an amazing addition to the World Championships team in Rotterdam and beyond.
Someone who I am super excited about this year is Kristina Vaculik. She took a long hiatus from competition to heal a nagging elbow injury and this year she made a triumphant return to competition with new sophistication and maturity. I am so impressed with her evolution. She looks poised, strong and confident and she matches those attributes with an incredible outlook and intelligence. She is my pick to emerge with the title of 2010 Canadian Champion. Welcome back, Kristina.
Other faces to watch: Jessica Savona (who's bars is an outta control trick fest concluding with a world class full twisting double layout!), Bianca Dancose Giambatti (Who, I must confess, I don't know much about...) and 2008 Olympian and soon to be Utah NCAA athlete, Nansy Damianova (This will be her last Nationals so I hope she can end her Canadian Elite career on a super high note).
See you in Kamloops!