Team Yukon loses top gymnast

Whitehorse’s Anna Rivard was supposed to lead Team Yukon’s gymnastics squad at the Canada Winter Games this week in Halifax, both as an athlete and an experienced role model. Unfortunately for the Yukon, she will be doing only the latter. For Rivard, competition ended before it began this week. She was sidelined with a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered last week.

HALIFAX, NOVA SCOTIA

Whitehorse’s Anna Rivard was supposed to lead Team Yukon’s gymnastics squad at the Canada Winter Games this week in Halifax, both as an athlete and an experienced role model.

Unfortunately for the Yukon, she will be doing only the latter.

For Rivard, competition ended before it began this week. She was sidelined with a torn anterior cruciate ligament suffered last week.

“She’s our highest athlete and the one that would have done best at the Games,” said Yukon gymnastics head coach Jennifer Ryan. “We found out just before we came and she’s the only one with Games experience – our mission staff, our manager, our coaches – it’s all our first time.

“We’re quite disappointed, but we’re glad she came to support us.”

The loss of the Level 5 gymnast, who was to make her second appearance at the Games, also had consequences on the opening team event on Sunday.

As a result of Rivard’s absence from the roster, Yukon was an athlete short, putting them out of the running. Yet, though out of contention for placing, teammates Corey Baxter, Kelcie Henney and Foreste Martin still competed for the experience.

“We started on beam, which is your nerves event, and all three did quite well,” said Ryan. “The floor routines went well. The vault was great for all three of the girls – it was definitely our strongest event. And there was bars, which we knew, going into the meet, was going to be our weakest event.

“Corey did a nice beam routine. Her back tuck was really solid, which was nice to see – no wobbles.”

For the team events, the Yukon was in sub division 1 with all the smaller provinces and NWT, which sent a gymnastics team of one – a male who obviously would not be competing against the Yukon girls. Nunavut did not send a gymnastics team.

“It was a good meet. I stuck the beam; the floor was a little rough; on the vault I vaulted really high, which was good,” said Henney. “Probably no (personal best scores) because it’s a national competition and I’m not quite at that level yet, but I did well for myself.”

As for getting precluded from medal contention in the team event, “It’s not a big deal,” said Henney.

Both Henney and Baxter will be back competing on Tuesday in the women’s AA final individual event.

“They both have personal goals they are going to try and achieve – they had a couple small errors they are going to try and fix up for those routines,” said Ryan. “So that’s our plan.”

Contact Tom Patrick at tomp@yukon-news.com