Today, we add another group of five girls headed to London in 29 days. The group from Canada was announced earlier today. Kristina Vaculik, Victoria Moors, Brittany Rogers, Dominique Pegg, and Ellie Black, along with althernates Jessica Savona and Maddie Gardiner, will travel to London to compete for a spot in the team finals.
After winning three events (AA, Beam, and Floor) at the junior national competition in 2006, Kristina Vaculik looked like a great choice for Beijing four years ago. She had another great year in 2007, all but establishing herself as one to watch for in Beijing by winning the national title and placing 14th in Stuttgart. However, an untimely elbow injury kept her out of competition until Elite Canada competition almost a year after having her elbow surgically repaired. in 2010 competed at worlds and was 2 places shy of qualifying to the AA Final, after winning another AA national championship. She took a break this year from competing for Stanford University to prepare for London, a decision I'm sure she is now happy she made.
Photo Property of Kristina Vaculik's personal Twitter
Many people looking at the contenders for Canada's Olympic Team, many people thought there were two locks for the team after the untimely injury of Peng Peng Lee, Vaculik, and first year senior Victoria Moors. She went to London to help qualify Canada to London, and while she was there, she picked up a silver medal on floor, her best apparatus where she is known for her beautiful tumbling. Afterwards she made a quick stop to Madison Square Garden, where she placed 4th AA in the American Cup. She has so much poise for someone so young, and I personally think she is Canada's best hope for a medal, which would be on floor.
Here is her floor from the Pacific Rims Championships from April 2012. Do you see that first pass?
Brittany Rogers is the veteran of this team. At 19, she has been to Pacific Rim Championships, 2 world finals in 2009 before she had an injury plagued 2010, where she fractured her ankle on beam which wouldn't heal. It was almost a full year before she was allowed to train again, and getting back into this shape was hard. She took part in a World Cup Event, and had some success on vault, leaving with a silver medal. Early this year, she helped Canada qualify a full team to London at the test event. After a not-so-great national championships, many people began doubting her chances to get to London. She performed exceptional at trials, using the selection process to her advantage. In Canada, National Championships count as 40%of the decision, while trials counting for the other 60%. She really came out on fire and trials and became the third gymnast to be named to the team.
Photo property of Gymnastics Fan's Instagram
The next gymnast named was Dominique Pegg. After a steady junior carrer, Dominique was expected to do great things as a senior. Her first senior meet was in Worcester Massachusetts, at The American Cup. She placed seventh out of eight gymnasts, showing she could improve as a gymnast. This meet was all for experience, with she got a lot and grew as a competitor. At Pacific Rim Championships a few weeks later, she placed eighth all around and won gold on vault. A month later, she placed third AA at the Canadian National Championship. the next year, she was in Tokyo for her first world championship. After she departed from Tokyo, she was supposed to compete at Pan American Games, but she broke a bone in her hand, and didn't compete. Already this year, she was at a world cup event, and competed amazing at trials, she was in the lead after the first day, allowing her to travel to London in July.
First year senior Ellie Black had to wait a little longer than the others to find out her Olympic Fate. While the four girls above found out almost immediately that they were going, poor Ellie had to wait all afternoon to see if she would compete in London. She doesn't have much experience, just a couple of Elite Canada meets, but to quote Bekah from Get A Grip Gym Blog, "Internationally Inexperienced Doesn't Equal Untalented." I'm very much looking forward to seeing this gymnast in London, especially on vault, which is her strongest event!