A Grade 11 student at Wetaskiwin Composite High School has more than homework on her schedule. 17-year-old Carly Letourneau is one teen you wont catch complaining about having to get an early start to the day.
A gymnast since the age of four, Letourneau is serious when it comes to her training, dedicating 20 hours a week to becoming the best she can.
Letourneau starts her mornings at the gym, training from 6:30 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. before school on weekdays, and after school on Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.
She says that having the gym where she trains, Precision Gymnastics, located right next to school makes everything a little easier.
Recently, Letourneau got to compete on home soil at a competition held in Wetaskiwin on March 25-27, 2022. The competition was a trial for Westerns, determining who would be representing Team Alberta at Westerns this spring. Westerns is a competition with teams representing Alberta, British Columbia, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, and the Yukon.
Letourneau competed in Westerns for Team Alberta in 2019 where they won third place, however this year at the Wetaskiwin hosted competition she qualified for the Team Alberta alternate position.
Letourneau says that the competition went well and that, “it is always nicer to compete in the hometown,” says Letourneau.
She says that of all the apparatuses her favourite is the floor routine, which is also what she says she did best in at the most recent competition.
“I had fun. I like to compete with all my friends, we’ve been competing since we were really little so we’re pretty close.”
She says that given the small amount of the girls competing in her age category and level, she sees the same girls at all competitions and although they may be competitors they all support one another as well.
Although she didn’t qualify for Westerns, Letourneau still has a chance to qualify for Nationals this year. There is one more National Trial left to go on April 9, 2022. There are three National Trial competitions during the competition year.
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One major challenge the gymnast has faced in the past year has been the closure of gyms due to COVID-19, which saw her going from training 20 hours a week to zero hours a week.
“I was almost confused what to do with myself in a day,” she admits.
She says that when training could resume it took quite a few months to rebuild certain skills that she was unable to practice during the shut-down.
However, she didn’t let this stop her and she says her next big gymnastic goal is to make the Alberta Team to Nationals. This would be Team Alberta which would compete against all other provinces in Canada- not the team that represents Canada on the international level.
And although she has big gymnastics dreams, Letourneau has one ultimate goal she is working towards—being the first gymnast to be part of the Wetaskiwin Sports Hall of Fame.
“My ultimate goal, I want to get my picture in the Wetaskiwin rink.”
Beyond high school, Letourneau is considering pursuing competing on a college team following graduation.
She is going to a training camp in June where scouts for NCAA college gymnastics will be watching.
“Just being on a team would be awesome,” she says.