A troupe of Okanagan acrobatic gymnasts put Canada on the map in Las Vegas, returning home heavy with hardware from the Vegas Fly Acro Gymnastics competition.
The team from Okanagan Gymnastics Centre (OGC) were the only Canadian acro gymnasts at the meet, which featured competition from over 270 athletes from across the U.S.
Athletes Jackson Peters and Sadie Mamchur brought home gold medals in Level 10 Mixed Pairs; Ava Clark and Sara Ross won silver in Level 7 Women’s Pair; and Jacob Wong and Jade Nyrose also brought home gold in Level 7 Mixed Pair.
Coach Shawna Peters was thrilled with her team’s performance.
“I am so proud of them,” says Peters. “They have been working so hard and this was a huge opportunity for them to gain experience and exposure in competitive acro on a much bigger scale.
OGC one of only a handful of training facilities in Canada offering a competitive acro gymnastics program, and the only gym in B.C. “Acro is really a fledgling sport in Canada but it is huge in the U.S.” says Peters. “We are seeing amazing growth of the sport in the east and even in Alberta.”
“Being at the competition was so cool,” says eight-year-old, Jade Nyrose. “This was my first acro competition. I’m happy all my teammates did good and I can’t wait to compete again.”
Acro gymnastics, formerly known as Sports Acrobatics, is distinct from artistic gymnastics or acro dance. Acro features partnerships of two or three gymnasts performing together. The routines are set to music and consist of dynamic choreography, balancing skills, dance and tumbling.
At 19, Jackson Peters is one of the senior athletes on the OGC competitive Acro team, which sits at 14 athletes in total. “Acro has really helped me learn to focus my energy and to be a strong support for my partner and my teammates”, says Peters. “It’s also very physically challenging.”
Next up for the OGC acro team is the Texas State championships in April.