IMPACT

Women's Artistic Gymnastics: Team Canada's Women Make History

07/30/2012 02:03 EDT | Updated 08/04/2012 04:39 EDT
HO/ COC

While most teenagers have read about history, five Canadian teens made history Sunday at the London Summer games. For the first time in a non-boycotted Olympic Games, Canadian gymnasts will have their feet on the mats at the artistic gymnastic finals.

The achievement was a monumental one and the crowd's reaction was equally epic, said Ellie Black, the team's 16-year-old member.

“It was wild," said Ellie." I’ve had loud crowds before, but this one was incredible. To have people cheering like that, maybe not necessarily for you, but for gymnastics, in general, I just fed off that," she told the Chronicle Herald.

Also sharing in the team's glory were Brittany Rogers from New Westminister, B.C; Victoria Moors from Gatineau, Que; Dominique Pegg from Sarnia Ont; and Kristina Vaculik from Whitby, Ont. The five --all first-time Olympians-- faced off against the favoured United States and host Great Britain in front of a crowd of 20,000 fans.

After four rounds of team qualifications, Canada placed sixth and with only two full teams left in the last round of qualification, the group of five were guaranteed to be in the top eight teams that advance to the final. By the end, Canada squeaked in at eighth place. The United States placed first, followed by Russia, China, Romania, Britain, Japan, and Italy.

“It’s just unreal. We were watching the scoreboard when we saw it, and we all started screaming,” said the 15-year-old Moore, the group's youngest member in an interview with the Waterloo Record.

The girls' performance marks the second time Canadian gymnasts, male or female, have made it to the finals. The only exception was during the 1984 Games in Los Angeles where a number of the favoured gymnastic teams such as the Soviet Union and its Eastern Bloc partners opted out of the Games due to a Cold War boycott.

Their performance even caught the eye of Canadian celebrity Justin Beiber after Pegg asked the pop star for a little luck on Twitter, reports the Sarnia Observer. Beiber delivered, tweeting “@domiP3gg sorry im late 2 the party. want to let you know as a proud canadian Im always supporting you and proud of you. STAND UP CANADA! :)”

The five will perform in the bars, the vault, the beams, and floor exercises in Tuesday's final which gets underway at 4:30 p.m. local time, 11:30 a.m. ET.

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