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Archive: February 2003

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FEBRUARY 20 - GILMORE LEAVES UTE GYMNASTICS TEAM

University of Utah freshman gymnast Crystal Gilmore has withdrawn from classes and is returning to her home in Cambridge, Ontario, Canada. Gilmore cited a series of frustrating injuries as the reason for her decision. “Due to ongoing injuries, I have decided to withdraw from the University of Utah gymnastics team,” said Gilmore. “I’m very happy about my decision. I’ve left on good terms and I’m looking forward to getting healthy.”

Utah Head Gymnastics Coach Greg Marsden accepted Gilmore’s decision, saying, “We wish Crystal well and will certainly try to assist her with whatever she ultimately decides to do.”

Gymn.ca secured the above release from the University of Utah.


FEBRUARY 14 - SHEWFELT TO SKIP AMERICAN CUP

Two time World Cup floor medallist Kyle Shewfelt of Calgary, originally invited to next month's Visa American Cup competition in Fairfax, Virginia, has decided to withdraw from the event, citing a minor knee injury sustained in December. "Everything is fine now, no problems at all," reported Shewfelt, "but I would rather not compete at such a big competition if everything wasn't great." Shewfelt said he was "thrilled" to have been invited to this prestigious event, and assures us that "the knee is 100% okay now." His withdrawal leaves Ottawa's Heather Purnell as the sole Canadian representative at the competition.

FEBRUARY 12 - PURNELL TO REPLACE MACKIE AT AMERICAN CUP

Heather Purnell

Omega's Gael Mackie will miss the upcoming Visa American Cup international competition, and will be replaced by reigning Elite Canada champion Heather Purnell, Gymnastics Canada announced today. Mackie, 14, sustained a foot injury last month, and was forced to withdraw from the international event, which will be held on March 1st in Fairfax, Virginia. Purnell will act as Mackie's replacement in the event, whose past champions have included Nadia Comaneci, Mary Lou Retton, and Shannon Miller. Previous Canadian entries at the Visa American Cup have included Kate Richardson, Yvonne Tousek, and Stella Umeh.

For Purnell, the meet will be yet another stepping stone on the road to the upcoming World Championships. The 16 year-old previously competed at the Pacific Alliance Championships and Commonwealth Games, and was the runner-up at last year's national championships.

The Visa American Cup will feature eight top female and male athletes competing in a one day only all-around competition, for total prize money of $45,000. The event will be televised live on March 1st by NBC from 4:00 to 6:00 EST.


FEBRUARY 7 - SCARBOROUGH PREPARES FOR 2003 RETRO BOOGIE

The Scarborough Gym Elites hosts their annual Retro Boogie Invitational February 21-23, 2003. This year's event promises to be bigger and better, with over 560 athletes (approximately 30 of them Elite level) registered. “We are thrilled to be welcoming gymnasts and their coaches from as far away as Australia and Mexico at this year’s edition of the Retro Boogie," said Head Coach Aaron Brokenshire. "Our club is an amazing place to be right now. The atmosphere is electric every day. The parents, the girls, the staff...everyone is working as hard as anyone could rightly ask of them."

The Retro Boogie meet is one of several North American stops for the Australian women. They will also be attending the Gliders Invitational and Gymcats' Vegas Cup. Australian Lynn Silcock has already participated in a North American tour, competing the 2001 WOGA Classic and Parkette Invitational. Joining her on this tour will be MLC Gymnastics' teammate Ashlee Woodward, as well as a bevy of junior elites from Austrlaias Waverly Gymnastics including Jacqui Bull, Shona Morgan, and Georgia Borona.

Some of the Canadians confirmed to attend include current National Champion, Danielle Hicks of Gemini, 2001 World Team member Jennifer Simbhudas and sister Rebecca Simbhudas from Winstonettes, Guelph Saltos' Chantelle Tousek, ASF gymnasts Marci Bernholtz and Caya Colling, and the host club's Laura Ashley Rodriguez.

The event is being held at a new location this year, Toronto's Centennial College Sports Auditorium.


FEBRUARY 6 - NELLI KIM VISITS SPORTS SENECA

Two-time Olympian Nelli Kim is at Sports Seneca this week, meeting with fellow FIG Academy member Brian McVey. The academy's objective is to "standardize gymnastics educational information around the world and to help provide those countries needing a system for coaching education" (FIG). Malaysia hosted the first academy last February, with 9 countries sending over 40 specially selected coaches to participate in the Men's and Women's Artistic Gymnastics Level 1 course.

Nelli was a member of the Soviet Union's 1976 and 1980 Olympic teams, and was the 1979 World Champion. Sports Seneca's gymnasts have enjoyed receiving special pointers from the star. Photos courtesy of Lawson Coo.



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