Gymnasts did well in first Winter Games: coach


Nerves were a factor at that level

Younger members of the Olds Gymnastics Club are looking up to two members who competed in the Alberta Winter Games.

The games were held Feb. 16-18 in Fort McMurray/Wood Buffalo.

Jennifer Conway, 16, and Chloe Gardner, 13, represented Olds on the level 6 Zone 2 team in artistic gymnastics.

That marked the first time Olds gymnasts had been in that competition, according to head coach Michelle Jaffray.

Conway placed fifth in the vault event final in the team competition. Overall, Chloe Gardner scored 19th and Conway scored 25th.

Assistant coach Jen Jardine accompanied the team at the games too.

She said Gardner and Conway did “pretty well,” considering it was the first time any club members had competed at that level.

“It was very exciting for them,” Jardine told the Albertan.

“They did pretty well; not as well as they had hoped. They actually did better at trials, but they did pretty well under the circumstances,” she added. “It’s just nerves and stuff.”

Jardine said the fact two girls from the club have competed at that level has inspired younger members.

“We are just building our club right now. It’s getting bigger every year, now that we have our own place with good equipment, so we can actually be competitive now. So I would expect that within two years, we’ll have quite a few more girls who will want to go to trials,” Jardine said.

In 2016, the Olds Gymnastics Club moved into the old Sears building in Mountain View Plaza. Before then, they used to meet in the ´Ecole Olds Elementary School gym.

Jardine said another aspect of the games was that it was simply a lot of fun.

Coaches and athletes alike slept in school classrooms and got to know each other well.

“It was one big team by the end. It was fun,” she said.

“They actually did better at trials, but they did pretty well under the circumstances.”


About Author

Doug Collie

Doug Collie joined the Olds Albertan in 2014 as editor. He covers municipal politics, news, community events, arts and entertainment and sports happening in and around Bowden and Olds.