Rivard gives golden vault at Westerns

When Anna Rivard vaults, people notice, says Whitehorse Polarettes Gymnastics Club head coach Jenn Ryan. "She always gets a lot of positive feedback on her vault whenever she competes away because she's very impressive on that event," she said.

When Anna Rivard vaults, people notice, says Whitehorse Polarettes Gymnastics Club head coach Jenn Ryan.

“She always gets a lot of positive feedback on her vault whenever she competes away because she’s very impressive on that event,” she said.

Competing at the Western Canadian Championship over the weekend in Regina, Saskatchewan, Rivard received the best feedback of all: a gold medal.

“I’ve been having problems with it in practice, but with the adrenaline rush from the competition I got pumped up and was able to do it,” said Rivard. “I thought it was good. I could have placed on floor, but I did all my events better than I usually do in practice, so I did personal bests.”

Rivard, who won a gold in the event at last year’s Westerns and a silver the year before, arrived in the vault finals ranked second with a score of 13.95 and then took first with a front handspring, front tuck – or “front-front”- scoring 14.15.

“It was her nicest vault of the year, for sure,” said Ryan.

The Polarettes’ only other Level 5 athlete, Corey Baxter, 14, also went to the Westerns to compete there for the first time.

“I feel good about it, considering it’s my first Westerns – I’m happy about it,” said Baxter. “It was a good experience seeing what the other girls could do and with the higher level of competition, it was just about experience this year.”

Although usually strongest on the beam, Baxter ran into troubles in that event and took her highest placement on the floor, finishing 14th with a score of 12.2, completing a one-and-half twist, a front layout and a whip to a tuck full.

“Her floor routine was quite nice,” said Ryan. “She just started recently doing a full floor routine again because she was coming off her injury.”

“I fell four times on beam – I was just having an off day,” said Baxter. “It was my first event (of the day) too.”

Baxter’s injury was sustained while competing at the Arctic Winter Games in Grande Prairie, Alberta, in March. Prevented from participating in the Arctic Games gymnastics competition because of their Level 5 status, both Baxter and Rivard put their skills to Arctic sports or “traditional sports.”

Taking in more hardware than any other Yukon athlete at the Games, Rivard won seven medals in the Arctic sports competition and was awarded the all-around gold medal for her combined results. Baxter took gold in the sledge jump event.

Rivard’s gold from the weekend, although not her first from Westerns, is also not her first in the last month.

Again topping the list on the vault, Rivard won gold three weeks ago at the BC Gymnastics Championships in Langley.

However, Polarettes’ Benoit Latour, 15, had the greatest success in Langley. Competing in Level 3 (13-and-older), Latour won bronze on floor, gold on vault, bronze on parallel bars, silver on high bar, accumulating in a bronze finish overall.

“He has been working extremely hard this year,” said Ryan. “He trains 16 hours a week and he very rarely misses a practice.

“His strong point is his strength – he’s actually quite strong – and that’s something you need in men’s gymnastics.”

Also medaling in Langley was Polarettes’ Andrew Christ, taking bronze on the vault.

Contact Tom Patrick at


Just Posted

Awaken Festival organizers Meredith Pritchard, Colin Wolf, Martin Nishikawa inside the Old Firehall in Whitehorse on May 11. (Haley Ritchie/Yukon News)
Performing arts fest plans to awaken artistic talent in Whitehorse and the rural North

‘A value of ours is to make theatre as accessible as possible.’

April Mikkelsen tosses a disc during a ladies only disc golf tournament at Solstice DiscGolfPark on May 8. John Tonin/Yukon News
Yukon sees its first-ever women’s disc golf tournament

The Professional Disc Golf Assocation had a global women’s event last weekend. In the Yukon, a women’s only tournament was held for the first time ever.

Dave Blottner, executive director at the Whitehorse Food Bank, said the food bank upped its services because of the pandemic. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Food Bank sees Yukoners’ generosity firsthand

“Businesses didn’t know if they could stay open but they were calling us to make sure we were able to stay open.”

Air North president Joe Sparling said the relaxing of self-isolation rules will be good for the business, but he still expects a slow summer. (Mike Thomas/Yukon News)
Air North president expects a slow summer

Air North president Joe Sparling suspects it will be a long time before things return to pre-pandemic times

Whether the dust jacket of this historical novel is the Canadian version (left) or the American (right), the readable content within is the same. (Michael Gates)
History Hunter: New novel a gripping account of the gold rush

Stampede: Gold Fever and Disaster in the Klondike is an ‘enjoyable and readable’ account of history

A prescribed burn is seen from the lookout at Range Road and Whistle Bend Way in Whitehorse May 12. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Editorial: Are you ready for a forest fire?

Citizens for a Firesmart Whitehorse have listed some steps for Yukoners to boost safety and awareness

Caribou pass through the Dempster Highway area in their annual migration. A recent decision by the privacy commissioner has recommended the release of some caribou collar re-location data. (Justin Kennedy/Yukon News)
Privacy commissioner recommends release of caribou location data

Department of Environment says consultation with its partners needed before it will consider release

Chief Medical Officer of Health Dr. Brendan Hanley. (Crystal Schick/Yukon News)
Family pleased youth will be able to get Pfizer vaccine

Angela Drainville, mother of two, is anxious for a rollout plan to come forward

Safe at home office in Whitehorse on May 10, 2021. (John Tonin/Yukon News)
Federal government provides $1.6 million for Yukon anti-homelessness work

Projects including five mobile homes for small communities received funding.

Drilling at Northern Tiger’s 3Ace gold project in 2011. Randi Newton argues that mining in the territory can be reshaped. (Yukon government/file)
Editorial: There’s momentum for mining reform

CPAWS’ Randi Newton argues that the territory’s mining legislations need a substantial overhaul

At its May 10 meeting, Whitehorse city council approved the subdivision for the Kwanlin Dün First Nation’s business park planned in Marwell. (Submitted)
KDFN business park subdivision approved

Will mean more commercial industrial land available in Whitehorse

Main Street in Whitehorse on May 4. Whitehorse city council has passed the first two readings of a bylaw to allow pop-up patios in city parking spaces. Third reading will come forward later in May. (Stephanie Waddell/Yukon News)
Whitehorse council pursuing restaurant patio possibilities

Council passes first two readings for new patio bylaw

Most Read