By KIPP NASH
SS GYMNASTICS COACH
In their last meet of the season before hibernation, four Salt Spring gymnasts feasted like smart orca whales on spawning salmon.
A fitting backdrop to the meet, the 17th annual Orca Invitational gymnastics meet was held in the old Duncan recreation centre’s pool complex.
Two Salt Spring gymnasts scored all-around gold and tied for awesomeness. Nina de Roo and Isabelle Kerrigan put down their best efforts and called upon all available brain cells to remember most of all four routines. Mesmerizing the judges with abnormal feats of acrobatics, they left no doubt that they came to compete.
Two gymnasts grew two sizes too big for their gym suits before the invitational was over. Kumi Nash and Nikoya Catry-Bauer had to ignore considerable distractions to develop character beyond their years in the short duration of the four events of bars, beam, floor and vault.
In her warm-up, Nash flew off the bars backwards long before her scheduled dismount. The chalky bar, small palms and short fingers conspired to foil a long hand-swing pullover and Nash ended up in a clamshell position well offside. Ouch! Six minutes later, Nash competed with another routine, completing all skills she missed in practice rounds.
Catry-Bauer had to put up with a gymnastics nightmare. Her name was mispronounced without fail every time! Undaunted, she put down all-star efforts in all events and deserves an award for being the MVG — Most Valuable Gymnast — of the day. Caring, kind, invested and integral are only four words to describe this gymnast’s skill set.
Thanks to all the kids who put their hearts into something they love, and accept all the twists of fate that lead to gold. Proof of these feats of bravery can be witnessed at Fulford Hall for the gymkhana on Friday, April 28. Games, routines, prizes and a tug-o-war will wind up Salt Spring’s year. Come for the popcorn and stay for the entertainment.