caught up with
the team at the 2007 Elite
Canada, held Dec. 12-16
in Abbotsford, B.C.
Scoring Elite Canada
HE selection process for the women’s
team took top priority at December’s
Elite Canada competition.
For almost 30 years, Carol-Angela Orchard has
impressed on her athletes that gymnastics com-
petitions are about two things: performing and
“It’s not about scores,” Orchard, head coach
of Sport Seneca Gymnastics in Ontario, insisted
as she stood near the athletes’ warmup area at
the Tradex Convention Center in Abbotsford.
But with less than six months to go before the
Canadian Olympic contingent departs for
Beijing, scores have suddenly taken on new
importance for Orchard's protégée, 18-year-old
In attempting to qualify for one of the two
Canadian berths to Beijing, Olympic hopefuls
like Hopfner-Hibbs, the 2006 World bronze
medalist on balance beam, must now scrutinize
scores ahead of placement.
The 2008 Olympic selection process for the
Canadian women, who qualified only two female
gymnasts to the games after finishing a disap-
in the team competition at the
2007 World Championships, is complicated.
Basically, gymnasts attempting to earn one of
the two Canadian berths must demonstrate con-
sistency in competitions leading up to the
Games. Good scores in certain competitions —
meets like Elite Canada, the 2008 American
Cup in New York City and the spring’s World
Cup events — earn a gymnast points.
More points are available for better scores in
bigger competitions, and the experience of those
who have appeared at a previous World
Championships or Olympic Games will also be
taken into consideration.
By the selection process, any score above
15.3 earns points. Scores of 16 and higher earn
the maximum number of points.
“Basically it’s a mathematical system,” said
Kristina Vaculik (left) and Nathan Gafuik (right)
each won the all-around title in Abbotsford,
shortly after competing at the 2007 “Good Luck
Beijing” pre-Olympic tournament (pictured).
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