Gemini Tumbler Canadian Champ

TORONTO, ONTARIO–(Marketwire – June 4, 2010) – Kristina Vaculik, 17 of Whitby has capped the 2009-10 competition season by capturing her second senior Canadian Champion all-around title in Kamloops, B.C. this weekend. In addition, Vaculik added three golds and one silver in event finals to conclude a very successful competitive season.

Vaculik, who trains at Oshawa’s Gemini Gymnastics, was forced to withdraw from the Olympic Team in 2008 following injury to her elbow and subsequent surgery, which kept her out of competition for over a year. Vaculik burst back into the gymnastics scene in December by placing second overall at Elite Canada and winning the bars and floor event finals. In March, she competed in the international World Cup Event in Cottbus, Germany, winning gold medals on uneven bars and floor, and silver medals on vault and balance beam. In her most recent international outing at the 2010 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships in Melbourne, Australia, Vaculik was the top Canadian taking sixth place all-around, with an impressive bronze medal on floor.

Coached by former Olympic All-Around Women’s Gymnastics Gold Medal Champion, Elena Davydova, and coaching partner former Ukrainian Men’s All-Around champion, Valery Yahchybekov, Vaculik has had a remarkable comeback, setting her sites on the London Olympics in 2012. Davydova states “Kristina’s hard work and determination has made her the best female gymnast in Canada”. 

Other Gemini Gymnastics’ athletes shone in Kamloops, where five athletes from Gemini competed at Nationals this year. Current Elite Canada Junior Champion, Riley Cholod (15) of Bowmanville was unable to compete at Nationals this year due to a torn hamstring. Despite this, Cholod was named Canadian Junior High Performance Athlete of the Year. Davydova and Yahchybekov were named Canadian Junior High Performance Coaches of the Year. 

Sasha Vedenin (16) of Oshawa, the 2009 National Open Champion, earned her second national title, her first in the 16+ Open Category. After a rough first day in the Team Competition, Vedenin came back strong on day two in the all around competition to win her second national title. 

In the Junior High Performance category, Vaculik’s younger sister, Natalie (14) had a very good showing in an exceptionally strong junior field. Vaculik tied for fourth overall and in the event finals, she competed in three of four apparatus, with silver on bars, fourth on beam and sixth on floor. This was Vaculik’s first competition at this level. 

In the Novice High Performance Category, Gemini’s Kassondra Lepik (13) of Brooklin scored gold on bars with an all around finish of fifth in her very first National Championships.

Rounding out the Gemini athletes was Carrina Lo Bello (17) of Oshawa, who placed eighth overall and competed in the event finals on bars. This was Lo Bello’s first Nationals at the Senior High Performance level which is comprised of Canada’s top female artistic gymnasts.

Davydova was extremely pleased with the results of the team. “This year’s Canadian Championships were made up of tough competitors. Gemini’s athletes had outstanding results at all levels, especially given that many of the athletes were competing at their levels for the first time”.

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Ian Shalapata
Ian writes for and provides imagery to Square Media Group as well as accepting freelance photographic assignments. In addition, he has contributed to media organizations, sporting groups, and individuals across North America including the Fort Wayne News-Sentinel, Chatham-Kent Sports Network, the Golf Association of Michigan, League 1 Ontario, as well as numerous colleges and universities in Canada and the United States. Email Ian Shalapata