June 24th, 2024

Terrific tumbling return for gymnasts


By Dale Woodard - Lethbridge Herald on January 27, 2022.

Herald photo by Dale Woodard Nya Szymanski and Rylee Wigand both turned in medal-laden performances at the Battle of the Bridge last weekend at the West Wind Gymastics Club.

For Rylee Wigand, it was a chance to compete in front of people, and not just the camera.
For Mya Szymanski, it was just one heck of a gymnastics debut.
The Ninth Annual Battle At The Bridge tumbled onto the mat Saturday and Sunday at West Wind Gymnastics Club.
After competing virtually last year when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the athletes to do their routines in front of the camera with their coach as the only audience, Wigand was back in front of the crowd with the rest of the athletes.
She was joined by fellow gymnast Szymanski, who tumbled her way to a medal-laden performance in her first go-round, placing first on floor, vaults and bars, second on beams and first all-around.
“I impressed myself, I was proud. I did not expect that at all,” said Szymanski. “It was stressful, but with the cheering it balances out, it was really fun.”
For Wigand, however, last weekend was a return to performing in front of some actual eyes, not just the glass eye of the camera.
“I was more comfortable with the virtual one, definitely. It was different,” she said.
On Saturday, Wigand placed first on floor, third on vault and bars, fourth on beam and third overall.
“It was really good, this is a new thing. It’s different,” she said. “I got to have more variety of stuff that I got to do. I’m behind on a couple, so it’s nice that I can still work hard one some and pick up some slack on the others.”
Wigand got her gymnastics start in Grade 3.
“I’ve never really been hand-eye coordinated,” she said. “So I had a hard time playing soccer and softball. Then my parents signed me up for (gymnastics) because my friend was doing it and I enjoyed it a lot. I enjoy pushing myself and then second you complete it, it’s awesome.”
Meanwhile, Szymanski was still processing her debut after Saturday afternoon’s performance.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet,” she said.
Of the four events, Szymanski pointed to the floor as her favourite.
“I just like being able to show my personality and having people cheer.”
But Szymanski said that also took some getting used to.
“It was nice, but it was also really nerve-wracking,” she said. “There are so many people. Last year, I was watching the competition. It’s so much different. It’s so loud.”
The West Wind Gymnastics Club was represented by 54 athletes, 41 one of them taking part in their first gymnastics competition as the athletes set 28 new club records.
The following athletes placed first overall: Julianna Bogaart (level 1), Roan Brouwer (level 3), Preslee Peterson (level 4), Rebecca Uys (xcel bronze division A), Brinley Higginson (xcel bronze division C), Rachel Peake (xcel silver) and Szymanski (xcel gold).
The club’s next competition is Feb. 5 in Red Deer.

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