The Whistler Gymnastics Club often surprises itself at gymnastics competitions although the level of participation is among the highest in the province, the fact that they dont have a full-time facility has made it challenging to properly prepare athletes for provincial level competitions.
Last weekend Level 2 gymnast Frances Moody gave the club its biggest surprise in years with a gold medal on beam in the provincial championships. Moody was competing against 40 other girls, representing some of the top clubs from around the province. She currently trains three days, or nine hours a week, while facing girls who can receive twice as much training time.
"I dont know what was different (in this competition)," said Moody. "I really like beam, and I normally do pretty well, but this time I just stuck it. It was the best routine Ive ever done."
Moody was expecting to be on the podium after her performance, but was shocked when her name was called for the gold medal. "I thought I was going to be second, but then they called someone else," she said. "I was really surprised, I wasnt expecting to win gold."
Moody placed well in the other three events, floor, vault and bars, good enough to finish sixth all around in the province. For her gold medal, she got to write her name on one of Whistler Gymnastics beams.
Her teammate Kristi Poole-Adler was close to joining Moody on the podium, but had a fall in her routine. Still, she managed to finish sixth in the beam.
This is Moodys last year with the club. Next year she will follow her older sister into dance, although she already practices four times a week with the competitive dance team. She also hopes to continue to compete in gymnastics through the high school program.
She says gymnastics has helped her with dance and other sports.
"Gymnastics makes you stronger, so youre strong for everything," she said. "I just started dance and Im already on the competitive team."
Having dozens of other young girls in the program looking up to her as a provincial champion is also nice. "It makes me want to do better, she said.
The Whistler Gymnastics Club is currently in discussions with other user groups in the valley regarding a possible full-time facility in the community.