Ponoka gymnast places in top six at Canada Games

Coming out of his first time competing at the Canada Winter Games, Ponoka gymnast Findley McCormick placed sixth in the floor finals.

Ponoka’s Findlay McCormick placed six in the floor event finals at the Canada Winter Games

Ponoka’s Findlay McCormick placed six in the floor event finals at the Canada Winter Games

Coming out of his first time competing at the Canada Winter Games, Ponoka gymnast Findley McCormick placed sixth in the floor finals.

The games, which began on Feb. 13, were held in Prince George and McCormick spent nine days there.

Over the course of three days, McCormick participated in three different competitions; the team competition, the all around finals and the event finals, where he gave his 6th-place achieving routine.

“All six of us had a pretty good competition. I managed to make it through my routines without any major mistakes,” McCormick said of the team competition, referring to his Alberta teammates.

The competition consisted of all six events: rings, vault, parallel bars, high bar, floor and pommel horse.

“My routines consist of eight skills in each, that I perform in sequence,” said McCormick.

This may have been his first time at the Canada Winter Games but McCormick has competed in national competitions five times before. “I was just telling myself to do my best.”

McCormick says the team competition was one of the best two performances he has had this season, the other also coming from the Winter Games.

During the second competition, the all around finals, McCormick feels he did well but did not hit the same calibre as his first round. “I had a fall on high bar, but it still went pretty well.”

When it comes to falling McCormick says the best way to get over it is to focus on the competition ahead. Gymnasts do not have much time to dwell on mistakes anyway, there is only 30 seconds to get back into their routine.

His third and final competition was the event finals.

“It was a good routine. It was a bit more nerve-wracking.” The competition only runs one event and one gymnast at a time and McCormick says it was a little tougher with approximately 200 pair of eyes on him.

However, he enjoys seeing that many in the audience coming to see the sport. McCormick says not everybody has the opportunity to watch a gymnastics competition, so when people get the chance it is something new to explore. “It’s one of the more exciting sports to watch at the games,” he explains.

For the event finals, after an hour of warm up — in regular competitions there is about 10 minutes — the gymnasts were led through an entrance ceremony before the routines began.

McCormick competed second and he says going near the beginning is a good way to keep the nerves down, as he does not have to see what he is up against. “There wasn’t as much to live up to . . . just a little less pressure.”

That was the second of the two top competitions he feels he had this year.

While the competition takes the top eight McCormick believed he would be able to make the top six, and going in that is what his mind was set on.

“It was a really cool experience,” said McCormick.