Sarah Keating (foreground) and Emily Schmidt train at Falcon Gymnastics.

Falcon gymnasts’ training pays off

Hard work worth it for medal, says Langford athlete Emily Schmidt

In a room full of dozens of gymnasts, one young girl falls off a balance beam.

Before she climbs back on for another try, she drops to the ground and pounds out 10 push-ups faster than most adults, and does so with ease.

“It teaches them to stay on the beam,” says head coach Renata Allan, co-owner of Falcon Gymnastics. Allan is right, the young girl maintains her balance and finishes her manoeuvre.

That dedication is abundant in this gym. Langford athlete Emily Schmidt is part of that, having just earned two gold medals at the recent B.C. Artistic Gymnastics Championships.

“(Emily) is a very talented gymnast, very artistic, and she excels on the beam and on the floor,” Allan said. “She is a very hard working, dedicated gymnast and dancer, and that goes together and really helped her achieve gold.”

Fifteen Falcon team members competed at the B.C.s in North Vancouver, along with more than 500 other athletes. Schmidt, 14, recorded a fourth-place all-around score boosted by her two gold.

“We train 20 hours a week, so when you do good, it’s really rewarding,” she said. “You know you’re competing against the best in B.C., so when you come out on top it’s really amazing.”

Scoring a personal best 9.5 on the beam proved a highlight for the third-year competitor, but she is already training hard in hopes of improving in all aspects of gymnastics, a sport she calls “gruelling and competitive.”

“It is one of the hardest sports in the world; it is so hard physically. This year I hurt my knee and last year I hurt my hip. All my teammates in my group have all struggled with injuries – we have to push through it, because we have these competitions. It is so hard and not everyone can handle it.”

Schmidt and other Falcon gymnasts next compete at the 33rd annual Garden City Invitational May 16 and 17 at Panorama Recreation Centre.

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