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Olympic gold-medalist hosts first Gymnastics Festival PDF Print E-mail
Friday, 25 March 2011 12:29

Kyle Shewfelt says gymnastics event will be ‘engaging and impactful’

Olympic gold medalist Kyle Shewfelt is thrilled to be hosting his first ever Gymnastics Festival this weekend at the University of Calgary.

“I’ve always had this dream to create a gymnastics event that was fun, interactive and audience centred,” says Shewfelt, who in 2004, was the first Canadian to win a gold medal in gymnastics at the Olympic Games.

Shewfelt says the event will have a festival-type atmosphere and will be a unique experience for people of all ages.

There will be a variety of gymnasts participating in the event. Gymnastic proficiency will range from recreational to professional gymnasts.

Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast Kyle Shewfelt will be hosting his first Gymnastics Festival this weekend.
Courtney Urbani/Calgary Journal

On Friday, during the first night of the three-day event, there will be a friendly competition between the American, Canadian and Chinese national teams.

Also, on Saturday there will be a gymnaestrada – a series of gymnastic performances by recreational gymnastics clubs from across Calgary.

A feature performance will be held on Saturday night that will include performances such as parkour, cheerleading and hip-hop demos, along with prizes for the audience.

Shewfelt says he is excited for local athletes to showcase their skills beside top-ranked professional athletes.

“We didn’t want the event to be elitist. We wanted everyone to participate in this environment because these gymnasts work really hard and deserve the opportunity to be exposed. It’s going to be a big gymnastics party.”

Ling Cheng, coach of the Canadian men’s team, says a lot of work went into the festival and his gymnasts have been training hard.

“It is going to be a lot of fun and it is good preparation for the World Championships. Also, we have a concern for safety and we want to make sure no one gets injured this weekend.”

Nathan Gafuik of the Canadian men’s team says he is eager to compete this weekend.

“I’m excited to have this chance to get together with my team and have fun. We’re going to have a friendly competition with the Chinese and the Americans – but not too friendly, of course,” Gafuik says.

Shewfelt plans to make the festival interactive by incorporating door prizes, raffle tickets and having audience members hand out medals.

In addition, a portion of the proceeds will be going to Right to Play, an organization that assists in bringing sports opportunities to disadvantaged areas of the world.

Shewfelt says he has the support of many volunteers and sponsors, who will help make the event a huge success. He is ecstatic to be able to create this experience.

“It is a beautiful opportunity for me to share my love of gymnastics with the world. This weekend is going to be engaging, impactful and just awesome.”

The Gymnastics Festival will be held this March 25-27 at the U of C’s Jack Simpson Gymnasium. See for more information.