Local gymnast wins gold at nationals

Not many 12-year-olds can claim to be part of a national championship team.

But Amy Bladon of Sarnia’s Bluewater Gymnastics Club can.

Bladon was a member of Team Ontario, which captured gold at the Novice Women’s Artistic Gymnastics team competition at the Canadian Gymnastics Championships held recently in Ottawa.

The top three scores from the six-person team are counted for each event to determine the overall winner.

Ontario edged Quebec for the gold medal.

“It was really fun to be with all the girls,” said Bladon, who also competed at the national championships last year.  “We worked really hard and I’m glad it paid off.”

The diminutive Grade 7 student, who has been a member of Bluewater Gymnastics from the age of three, came close to earning a second medal as well, finishing fourth place on the balance beam in the All-Around competition.

“I could have done a better dismount, so I was a little bit on myself for that,” she said.  “But overall I was pretty happy.”

Her coach was pretty satisfied too, while leaving the door open for improvement down the road.

“She had a couple of little wobbles the first day, so there was still a way for her to increase her scores,” said Liz Brubaker.

“It wasn’t her absolute best,” Brubaker added. “But she didn’t have any major errors.”

Bladon trains five hours a day, five days per week at the Lottie Neely Park Road facility. She will take two weeks off this summer before ramping up for the new season this fall.

Her summer training will focus on strength, conditioning and new elements, said Brubaker.

Bladon’s long-term goal is to land a college gymnastics scholarship and possibly compete on the international stage.

– Barry Wright