Olympic gymnasts, coaches and volunteers honoured in Ottawa

Monday, June 17, 2013

OTTAWA – Gymnastics Canada paid tribute to its 2012 Olympic team on Saturday, June 15th, in addition to the large supporting cast of coaches, officials and volunteers who contributed to one of Canada best-ever overall performances on the international stage.

Most of the 15 athletes on the Olympic team spanning all three Olympic disciplines of artistic and rhythmic gymnastics and trampoline gathered at the Gymnastics Canada Awards Gala in Ottawa hosted by 2004 Olympic men’s floor champion Kyle Shewfelt of Calgary.

In London Rosie MacLennan won Canada’s only gold medal of the Games, soaring to the women’s trampoline title with a near perfect final routine.

It was also Canada’s first Olympic gold in trampoline, an historic achievement that has become the benchmark for younger competitors following in her footsteps.

Karen Cockburn, MacLennan’s longtime teammate at the Skyriders club in Toronto, aiming for a record fourth straight Olympic medal in London fell just shy of the mark and placed fourth in the final.

In women’s artistic gymnastics Canada’s unheralded team also made history, reaching the Olympic final for the first time en route to a fifth-place finish.

Every member of the team played an important role in re-writing the Canadian record book, from world championship veterans Kristina Vaculik of Whitby, Ont, Brittany Rogers of Vancouver and Dominique Pegg of Sarnia, Ont, to bright young stars Ellie Black of Halifax and Victoria Moors of Cambridge, Ont.

Canadian rhythmic gymnastics also made their mark at the 2102 Games, competing for the first time in the group event and placing 11th.

Members of the team were: Katrina Cameron, Rosie Cossar, Alexandra Landry, Anastasiya Muntyanu, Anjelika Reznik; and Kelsey Titmarsh, all from Toronto.

Other members of the 2012 Olympic team were Nathan Gafuik of Calgary in men’s gymnastics and Jason Burnett of Toronto in men’s trampoline.

“Gymnasts have been among Canada’s most consistent medal winners at the last four Summer Games and our goal is to keep the momentum going as we shift our focus now to the 2016 Olympics,” says Gymnastics Canada President Jean- Paul Caron of Ottawa.

“It takes a huge support team from the grass roots all the way up to our provincial and national teams to have success at the Olympics.”

Top individual athlete awards for 2012 went to MacLennan in trampoline, Hugh Smith and Ellie Black, both of Halifax and Maegan Chant of Waterdown, Ont., in artistic gymnastics, and Patricia Bezzoubenko of Toronto and Kaylie Choi of Vancouver in rhythmic gymnastics.

Winning coach of the year awards were Dave Ross of Toronto in trampoline, David Kikuchi and Keiji Yamanka, both of Halifax, Zhaohui Huang of Toronto, Christina Bontas and Gabriel Tantaru of Hamilton in artistic gymnastics and Kamena Petkovo of Vancouver in rhythmic gymnastics.

This year’s prestigious Lifetime Member Awards for long term service to Gymnastics Canada were presented to Elena Davydova of Oshawa, Ont., Kelly Manjak of Mississauga, Ont., and Evelyn Koop of Toronto.

Manjak and Davydova have coached many of Canada’s top artistic gymnasts and Koop is seen as the godmother of rhythmic gymnastics in Canada, as a coach, official and administrator.

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