The three Lac des Roches residents (Laura Lanzoni, Sharron Woloshyn and Piper Loft) who, as part of the local Club Excel team, joined 600 Canadian gymnasts on Team Canada at the World Gymnaestrada, the largest sporting event in the world, have returned from Switzerland.
Laura describes it as “bellissimo” or wonderful.
Piper, the lone young gymnast from our area says it was “fabulous.” It also represented a long list of firsts, including flying and subway and train rides. She adds the best part of the trip was watching all the thousands of gymnasts perform.
Club Excel performed on four days during the week, so there was plenty of time to see other shows. Teams representing 54 countries had as few as eight members, while some numbered into the hundreds and their ages seemed to range from three to 93 years.
Skill and activity levels varied from risky acrobatic with lifts and human pyramids to slow, yoga-like movements.
Many teams used traditional apparatuses, such as ropes, clubs, ribbons, hoops and balls. Parallel bars, vaulting horses, trampolines and tumbling mats were used in several of the high-energy acrobatic performances.
There were 14 venues around the City of Lausanne, all simultaneously running performances, so a patron could only see a fraction of what was available. Piper was so inspired by several of the shows that her most prized possessions are her newly purchased ribbon, clubs and a ball that she will learn to use as part of her future gymnastics training. In her free time, she enjoyed an authentic cheese fondue, swam in Lausanne’s public pool, attended all five of the evening outdoor concerts showcasing 13 bands from all over Europe, shopped and crossed Lake Geneva on a ferry to Evian, France for more shopping.
Her comment about the team’s accommodation was “OK.” Despite all 11 of the ladies sleeping on air mattresses on the floor of a college classroom, there was much giggling and banter to equate it to a lengthy pajama party. The church bells next door chimed every 15 minutes and Piper found them annoying.
The pre-purchased meals at the college and the exhibition centre were not to everyone’s tastes, but there were other options available.
Piper says she was pleased with Club Excel’s performances and claims her recent foot injury did not affect her routine. She wants to continue on with rhythmic and branch into artistic gymnastics.
Piper says she would love to see the Monday night exercise classes resume at Bridge Lake School and will work on finding a coach to take her further with the sport. She is practising very hard at home and stretching every day to maintain her flexibility during the summer holidays.
Piper says she realizes how lucky she is to have made this trip and thanks everybody who donated money towards her trip to Switzerland and for giving her this opportunity. She is a talented young athlete with many well-wishers in our community.
The next Gymnaestrada is in Helsinki, Finland in 2015 and she would love to attend.
Three more teas
The Bee Gees (Boultbee Gals) walk at noon every day, but that still isn’t enough time to catch up on all the neighbourhood news, so they have had scheduled three tea parties in July.
Eva Bechtel had 12 ladies at her house on July 10, Dale Yeager had nine ladies on July 24 and 10 were expected at Cathy Fawcett’s home on July 28.