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Archive: June 2002

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Stella Umeh at the
1991 World Championships

The XXVII Commonwealth Games are fast approaching (July 25-August 4), and Canadians can expect to enjoy some 30 hours of coverage from Manchester, England. CBC Sports is the domestic rights holder for the upcoming Games, with Artistic Gymnastics among the sports contested in Manchester to be covered. Expected to provide colour commentary is Stella Umeh, who enjoyed success at both the 1990 and 1994 Commonwealth Games.

Two-time Canadian Olympian Lori Strong-Ballard took over the role of colour commentary for CBC after Carol-Angela Orchard accepted a position to coach the 2000 Canadian women's team in Sydney. Strong-Ballard is now busy preparing for the birth of her first child.

Umeh is well known in the world of gymnastics. A member of the 1992 Olympic team, Umeh retired from elite gymnastics following her AA win at the 1994 Commonwealth Games. She enjoyed a very successful collegiate career at UCLA, where she majored in Communications Studies. Since then, Umeh has performed in Sea World's World Rhythm on Ice shows and toured with Cirque du Soleil. Following the Commonwealth Games, Stella will begin performing in Cirque's new production.

Gymnastics is among the firsts sports contests in Manchester, with the men's team event taking place July 26. For a full schedule of gymnastics events, check the official 2002 Commonwealth Games Web site. In the meantime, stay tuned for Gymn.ca's Commonwealth Games preview, report and photos from the Canadian women's pre-Games training, and select interviews with Canada's CWG team members.


Emilie Fournier

Retired Canadian Olympians Emilie Fournier and Julie Beaulieu will soon extend their talents to the acclaimed Cirque du Soleil. Both athletes last performed on the international level at the 2000 Olympic Games, but returned to gymnastics training last year (Beaulieu for the 2001 GYMROCK competition, and Fournier in an attempt to qualify for the world championships).

"It's not the same kind of gymnastics, but I'm happy about it," Fournier told Gymn.ca. On July 2, she and Beaulieu, who both represented Montreal's Gymnix Club during their amateur careers, will begin four months of intensive training in high flying stunts at Cirque's Montreal academy. Fournier hopes to join Cirque's O production, while Beaulieu is likely to join La Nouba.


2001 champion
Julie Beaulieu

The deadline for entry for GYMROCK 2002 has been extended, according to executive producer Michael Charbon. Athletes wishing to participate in the upcoming professional-style competition should express their intent to Susan Harris before June 25th. This, the second edition of the competition, will feature nine women and three men competing for a total of $8,000 in prize money. Athletes will perform floor exercise routines to upbeat music, using costumes and even props to accentuate their performances. The competition is open to High Performance, national, and provincial level athletes, age 15 and older.

A total of seven shows will be taped on Saturday August 31st and Sunday September 1st at Toronto's Seneca College, and will be broadcast at a later date on TSN, RDS, and WTSN.

For more information about this event, please visit the GYMROCK website.


Richelieu's Fanny Girard

Several of Quebec's top female gymnasts competed at the 12th annual Puerto Rico Cup this past weekend, May 29-June 1. Canada was represented by veteran Fanny Girard, club Richelieu training partner Siloe Chicoine, and Gymnix junior Stephanie De Lima. Together, they placed fifth in the team event, which followed a "3-3-2" format. Participating countries included Argentina, Brazil, Canada, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, El Salvador, Germany, Great Britain, Guatemala, Mexico, Panama, Paraguay, Puerto Rico, USA, and Venezuela.

The USA won the event, despite their third team member (Brittney Koncak) having to withdraw prior to competition due to an injury sustained during training. Their two entrants, Kassi Price (who competed at the 2002 Spring Cup in March) and American Twisters training partner Katie Kivisto, placed first and third, respectively, in the all around competition. Girard placed 9th in the all around, with Chicoine 11th and de Lima 21st AA. Stephanie Gadbois also competed at the meet, placing 13th AA.

Canada's best performances came on vault, where Fanny Girard placed 4th and Siloe Chicoine placed a close 5th. The two also competed in floor finals, with Chicoine placing 8th (7.825) and Girard 9th (6.876). Chicoine also placed 6th on what is traditionally her best event, the beam. She scored an 8.000.

1. USA: 72.877
2. Brazil: 71.792
3. Mexico: 70.856
4. Germany: 69.966
5. Canada: 68.748

All around:
1. Kassi Price (USA): 36.684
2. Caroline Molinari (BRA): 36.255
3. Katie Kivisto (USA): 36.193
9. Fanny Girard (CAN): 34.490
11. Siloe Chicoine (CAN): 33.649
13. Stephanie Gadbois (CAN): 33.433
21. Stephanie De Lima (CAN): 32.266

1. Musik (GER)
2. Gunne (GER)
3. Magaņa (MEX)
4. Girard (CAN)
5. Chicoine (CAN)

1. Rodriguez (BRA)
2. Zasaleta (VEN)
3. Kivisto (USA)

1. Kivisto (USA): 9.012
2. Price (USA): 8.912
3. Gunne (GER): 8.450
6. Chicoine (CAN): 8.000

1. Brenda Magaņa (MEX): 9.225
2. Price (USA): 8.875
3. Molinari (BRA): 8.837
8. Chicoine (CAN): 7.825
9. Girard (CAN): 6.876

For more, visit GCG and USAG online.

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