Two Okanagan Gymnastics Centre athletes recently returned from the Lone Star State with some shiny hardware in their possession.
Maddi Arnold, 16, and Shaylyn To, 11, joined forces to capture a silver medal in acrobatic gymnastics earlier this month at the Texas State Championships in Boerne, Texas, just outside San Antonio.
Coached by Shawna Peters of OGC, the girls placed second in the Level 8 women’s pairs event with a combined score of 48.499 points.
Arnold and To were in the lead after their balance routine on the first day, but ended up in second place after a slip during their dynamic routine on the second day.
“They were winning and were very strong on the second day, too, but just had a little slip up near the end,” said Peters. “If not, they would have taken gold. It was heartbreaking, but they came out of it very strong. We’re really happy with how they performed.”
Each routine is two minutes, with athletes being judged on their artistry, synchronicity, elegance, and required skills.
The balance routine has skills that are lifts and holds where the pair must show their control throughout the skills which are held for a number of seconds to show their strength and balance.
The dynamic routine has more explosive tosses, catches and tumbling.
Trips to Texas are becoming more frequent for Okanagan athletes because of Peters’ connection with a coach in that state. Peters is learning her craft from Rumen Lachkov, a former world acrobatics champion from Bulgaria, who is head coach at the Boerne Gymnastic Centre.
“He’s my main mentor,” Peters said of Lachkov. “We’ve been down there for other events in the past, so it’s a good situation.”