Two Hamilton area athletes have been named to Canada’s gymnastics team for the XXth Commonwealth Games in Glasgow Scotland this July.
Maegan Chant, 17, of Waterdown, and Kevin Lytwyn, 24, of Stoney Creek, and Kristen Haldwardt, of Toronto, will join 11 competitors for the games.
Haldwardt has practiced gymnastics since she was a child, first joining a gymnastics class when she was just three years old. Things accelerated from there. Her parents and coaches noticed her passion and ability right from the start, and they nurtured this as much as possible. In fact, her parents even turned their basement into a home gym. “It was a major help. Having and being able to use a gymnastics bar for home practice was a huge, huge advantage. I don’t know where I’d be without that.”
Haldwardt won gold on the bar.
Chant won silver on vault and floor at 2014 Canadian Championships and was a member of 2013 world championship team.
Lytwyn was a member of the 2009, 2010, 2011 world championship teams. His top events are high bar, rings and floor.
Anchoring the Canadian women’s artistic gymnastics squad are 2012 Olympic veterans Ellie Black and Victoria Moors, while two-time Olympian Nathan Gafuik leads the men’s squad. Black and Moors played key roles in Canada’s best-ever 5th place team finish at the London Olympic Games and rank among the world’s best gymnasts all around and in the floor exercise.
Gafuik, a mainstay on the Canadian men’s team for a decade, won three medals at the 2006 Commonwealth Games, including team gold.
Canada’s rhythmic gymnastics team is led by two-time Canadian senior champion Patricia, Bezzoubenko, who will be making her first appearance at the Commonwealth Games. In her most recent international competition, Bezzoubenko won the all around title at the 2014 Pacific Rim Championships in April.
The Canadian team, in addition to Chant and Lytwyn are:
Artistic Gymnastics – Women
Ellie Black, 19, Halifax, NS – Two-time Canadian all around senior champion, eighth on floor and 13th all around at 2013 World Championships
Victoria Moors, 18, Cambridge, ON – Canadian record holder for best-ever all around world championship result (10th – Antwerp, Belgium, 2013).
Isabela Onyshko, 16, Minnedosa, MB – third all around and first on beam at the 2014 Canadian Championships.
Stefanie Merkle, 18, Petersburg, ON – bronze medal winner on beam and floor at 2014 Canadian Championships.
Artistic Gymnastics – Men
Nathan Gafuik, 29, Calgary, AB – member of Canada’s best-ever men’s world championship team result (6th, 2006, Aarhus, Denmark), competed at 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games.
Scott Morgan, 25, Vancouver, BC – 2014 Canadian floor and vault champion, led Canadian men’s team at 2013 World Championships with 8th place on floor.
Anderson Loran, 23, Saskatoon, SK – won silver on high bar for best Canadian result of the 2010 Commonwealth Games in Delhi, silver medallist on floor and high bar at 2014 Canadian Championships.
Zachary Clay, 19, Chilliwack, BC – first on pommel horse and second on parallel bars at 2014 Canadian Championships.
Patricia Bezzoubenko, 17, Thornhill, ON – Three-time Canadian junior all around champion and two-time senior champion. Placed 25th, just one spot out of the final, at 2013 World Championships.
Maria Kitkarska, 19, Montreal, QC – second all around at 2014 Canadian Championships, 11th all around at 2010 Youth Olympic Games.
Annabelle Kovacs, 18, Vancouver, BC – Third all around at 2014 Canadian Championships. One of two Canadians, along with Patricia Bezzoubenko, to qualify for 2013 World Championships.
A team of 265 athletes and close to 100 coaches and support staff will be in Glasgow, Canada’s largest Team ever fielded for a non-home Games.
The Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games will be held July 23-Aug. 3 and will be the largest ever multi-sport event held on Scottish soil.