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Archive: January - March 2008

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Canada fared well at the recent Pacific Rim Championships, held in San Jose, CA. The women placed second an historic second in the team event, after the Americans and ahead of the China. A unique format was introduced at these Championships: 6-athlete team consisting of three seniors and three juniors. Americans Nastia Liukin and Jana Beiger placed 1-2 in the all-around, with Daria Joura of Australia grabbing bronze. (Canadian Kristina Vaculik placed 6th all-around, despite an injured wrist). The Americans also placed 1-2 in the junior women's all-around, led by Rebecca Bross and Samatha Shapiro. Russian Viktoria Komova just edged out Canadians Brittany Rogers and Peng Peng Lee for the bronze.

The Canadian women brought home more medals in the apparatus finals: Kristina Vaculik (2nd UB seniors), Peng Peng Lee (2nd UB juniors), Brittany Rogers (3rd V, 3rd UB juniors)

Canada's men finished fifth as a team, after the U.S., China, Japan, and Russia. Paul Hamm (USA) took home the all-around title, with teammate Alexander Artmev finishing second and China's Lu Bo rounding out the podium. Brandon O'Neill posted Canada's best efforts of the Championships in the apparatus finals, placing first on floor.

Canada's teams:
Anderson Loran, jr. men
John Hall, jr. men
Jackson Payne, jr. men
Nathan Gafuik, sr. men
Brandon O’Neill, sr. men
Adam Wong, sr. men

Peng Peng Lee, jr. women
Charlotte Mackie, jr. women
Brittany Rogers, jr. women
Nansy Damianova, sr. women
Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs, sr. women
Kristina Valculik, sr. women


Kristina Vaculik, Laurie-Eve Pepin-Gagné, and Cynthia Lemieux represented Canada at the 2008 edition of the Friendship Classic held this past weekend in Pottsville, Pennsylvania. The Australian team of Dasha Joura and Lauren Mitchell swept the gold medals, with Joura winning the all-around, vault, and bars titles. Mitchell placed first on beam and floor. 

Canada's best result was posted by Kristina Vaculik, who grabbed the silver on bars (15.05). Laurie-Eve Pepin-Gagne took the bronze in the all-around and Cynthia Lemieux placed four all-around.

SENIOR All Around: 
1. Dasha Joura (Australia)-58.30 
2. Lauren Mitchell (Australia)-58.05 
3. Laurie-Eve Pepin-Gagne (Canada)- 52.85 
4. Cynthia Lemieux (Canada)- 52.30 
5. Anna Katashynk (Ukraine)- 52.30 
6. Loes Linders (Netherlands)-50.50 

Joura- 13.75 
Kalashynk- 13.65 
Mitchell- 13.50 

Joura- 15.15 
Kristina Vaculik (Canada)- 15.05 

Joura- 14.85 
Vaculik- 14.80 

Mitchell- 15.25 
Joura- 14.55 
Kalashynk- 13.60 


A good read: CBC's Scott Russell has written an article about the Sport Seneca program, and it's unfortunate closing. To read, visit CBC.


Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs has claimed bronze on bars and a silver on beam at the 2006 Doha World Cup, held in Qatar.

Alyssa Brown was also in Qatar representing Canada, with her best resulting being fourth on vault in the preliminary round. Originally scheduled to compete all four apparatus here in Qatar, Brown competed only vault and beam after suffering a fall on her dismount at the 2008 American Cup. In finals, Brown placed seventh on vault.


A strong US team dominated last night’s competition at the Gymnix International in Montreal, finishing in the top four in the senior women’s all-around as well as taking home gold in the junior women’s all-around. Chelsea Davis took first in seniors, followed by Mattie Larson, Randy Stageberg (who was actually competing for her club here), and Sarah Demeo. The top Canadian all-arounder was Sydney Sawa who finished fifth after a fall on floor, but looking strong elsewhere including a new and solid double pike beam dismount. Finishing just behind Sawa was Stephanie Pacitto whose best event was vault (solid Yurchenko 1 ˝). Not competing in all events were Nansy Damianova (all but beam) who showed her best work on floor, with a solid arabian double front, 1 ˝ to front-full and double pike. Defending all-around champion Kristina Vaculik competed on bars and beam only, scoring the highest mark of the day on the former but suffering two falls on the latter. Juniored aged Peng Peng Lee competed on three events and scored the highest mark of the day on any event for her outstanding beam routine which included a backhandspring to a full twisting back tuck and a triple twist dismount. Aisha Gerber competed on four events and while she struggled throughout she did attempt two skills for the first time in competition since her return to the sport last year, including a Yurchenko double twist on vault and an arabian double front on floor.

In the junior women’s competition Samantha Shapiro of the US finished first followed by Britttany Rogers of Canada in second and Russia’s Naliya Mustafina in third, just ahead of Canada’s Charlotte Mackie. Shapiro has some of the best form and artistic quality of anyone in the world and she showed four solid routines to take the title. Rogers was solid on all events, scoring the top mark on vault with her Yurchenko 1 ˝, a vault which was also shown by her clubmate Mackie.

Due to a slow internet connection, only a few videos are available at this time:
Kristina Vaculik UB
Nansy Damianova FX
Peng Peng Lee BB

Full results can be downloaded from the Gymnix website.


Alyssa Brown was Canada's lone contestant at this weekend's 2008 American Cup, held at Madison Square Gardens in New York City. Brown's best results came on vault and beam, where she scored a pair of 14.8s to put her fifth and fourth on those events, respectively. Unfortunately, she dropped in the standings on floor with a frightening dismount that left a shaken Brown recovering before being able to salute. She dropped to 7th place all-around.


Canada's Kristina Vaculik and Nansy Damianova picked up medals at the recent 2008 WOGA Classic. Vaculik tied for second in the all-around and medaled on all four apparatus (gold on vault, silver on bars, and bronze on beam and floor). Nansy Damianova claimed the bars title. 

The home club's Christa Tanella won the senior women's all-around, with Australia's Ashleigh Brenna tying for second with Vaculik.

The event is hosted by WOGA, home club to the 2004 Olympic Champion Carly Patterson and 2005-2007 World Championship medalist Nastia Liukin.

Senior All-Around 
1. Christa Tanella (WOGA) 56.900 
2T. Ashleigh Brennan (Australia) 56.750 
2T. Kristina Vaculik (Gemini Canada) 56.750 
4. Kimberly Jacob (Superior) 55.100 
5. Anne Tritten (Netherlands) 52.950 
6. Kerby Purcell (Australia) 52.675 
7. Fiona Coley (Australia) 52.650 
8. Valeria Savelyeva (Ukraine) 52.150 
9. Ashley Quinton (Alberta Gymnastics) 51.300 
10. Momoko Sawada (Japan) 51.050

Senior Vault 
1. Kristina Vaculik (Gemini Canada) 12.850

Senior Uneven Bars 
1. Nansy Damianova (Gymnix Canada) 
14.650 2. Kristina Vaculik (Gemini Canada) 14.450 
3. Ashleigh Brennan (Australia) 14.200

Senior Balance Beam 
1. Ashleigh Brennan (Australia) 15.450 
2. Mattie Larson (All Olympia) 15.400 
3. Kristina Vaculik (Gemini Canada) 14.750

Senior Floor Exercise 
1. Mattie Larson (All Olympia) 15.350 
2. Christa Tanella (WOGA) 14.850 
3. Kristina Vaculik (Gemini Canada) 14.300


The Canadian Olympic Committee (COC) today unveiled details of its application for groundbreaking English and French amateur sport television networks, which would be a first in Canada if approved. The proposed Canadian Amateur Sports Network (CASN) and le Réseau du sport amateur canadien (RSAC) would provide much-needed exposure and funding for both Olympic and non-Olympic sports.

“The opportunity here is to provide a service that fills a programming niche that exists today,” says CASN/RSAC chair and International Olympic Committee member Richard Pound. “Between Olympic Games it is as if there are no Canadian athletes. Our networks will bring more sports and more young Canadians to the attention of Canadians.”

“The Canadian Olympic Committee has long recognized the need for dramatically increased television coverage of Canadian amateur sport on a consistent and regular basis,” said COC Chief Executive Officer Chris Rudge. “These networks would finally bring our athletes into the spotlight and also motivate young people everywhere in Canada to get up out of their seats and engage in sport and a healthy lifestyle."

The applications were formally submitted by the COC and its partners to the Canadian Radio-television and Telecommunications Commission (CRTC) in early December. The proposed national digital television networks would each focus solely on Canadian amateur sport 24 hours a day, seven days a week, allowing Canadians to watch amateur athletes compete in regional, national and international events in both Olympic and non-Olympic sports.

The applications ask for mandated distribution of the networks on the basic digital service of all Cable and DTH Satellite carriers, and a mandated wholesale subscription rate of 60 cents per household per month (in geographic areas that are consistent with its broadcast language).

The proposed networks would contribute more than $100 million to amateur sport over the first seven years of operation and would continue to contribute sustainable funding to the sport community after that period.

The COC is hopeful that public hearings on the applications will take place in the near future and a CRTC decision will be rendered as soon as possible after the hearings.

Full details surrounding the CASN/RSAC applications can be found at the newly-launched website www.casn-rsac.ca.

The Canadian Olympic Committee is a national, private, not-for-profit organization committed to sport excellence. It is responsible for all aspects of Canada’s involvement in the Olympic movement, including Canada’s participation in the Olympic and Pan American Games and a wide variety of programs that promote the Olympic Movement in Canada through cultural and educational means. For more information, see the COC website: www.olympic.ca.


CBC premiered its new Countdown to Beijing series today, and tonight's episode included a segment catching up with the 2004 Olympic champion on floor exercise, Kyle Shewfelt. For those of you who missed it, a number are repeats are scheduled. Check your local listings. Or, you can view the segment online: http://www.cbc.ca/olympics/beijingbound/ Go Kyle!

CBC Radio's The Inside Track also recently spoke with Elyse Hopfer-Hibbs. An mp3 can be downloaded at http://www.cbc.ca/insidetrack/podcast.html

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