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Langley’s Christy Fraser Memorial gymnastics competition goes virtual

Unable to compete in person, athletes recorded their performances for judges
Recorded on video, Reuben Dykstra of the Langley Gymnastics Foundation competed in the Men’s Artistic Gymnastics competition at the Christy Fraser Memorial Gymnastics Invitational (Tattina Maxim/Special to Langley Advance Times)

Usually, this is the time of year when Lory Fraser handpicks a dozen or so young gymnasts who embody the same mannerisms and attitude of her daughter Christy – that is, supportive, determined and displaying a positive attitude – and awards them trophies at the annual Christy Fraser Memorial Gymnastics Invitational in Langley.

“I usually sit through the entire meet,” Lory told the Langley Advance Times.

This year, however, the pandemic has meant the could not be held at the Langley Events Centre, as it usually is.

Instead, a virtual version took place at the end of February, with athletes recording their routines on video for judges to review.

Since she can’t be there in person, Lory has delegated the decision-making for the Christy awards to the participating clubs.

“I sent them my criteria,” she explained.

“I told them what I look for. I have faith they will pick a person who deserves it.”

Those awards will be in addition to medals won at the annual event.

READ MORE: ‘She would have gone to the gym every day if she could have’

To honour the memory of Christy, who passed away in August of 1992 at the age of 12, Langley Gymnastics Foundation began the Christy Fraser Memorial Invitational meet.

Christy has been described as a dedicated gymnast who possessed the ability to overcome adversity with a cheerful smile and a ‘try again’ attitude.

In the first year of the event, about 170 athletes competed in a gymnasium at Langley Secondary.

Over the years, it has grown to include more than 20 different clubs from across B.C. and Alberta.

Athletes range in age from five to 17 and compete in recreational, provincial and elite levels.

Last year, 740 athletes took part in the annual event.

This year, the number was 340, which, considering the challenges of competing under COVID-19 restrictions, is “pretty great,” Lory remarked.

READ ALSO: Competitive Langley gymnasts lauded for their commitment to the sport

From Feb. 19th to the 25th, athletes recorded their routines on video, to be be reviewed by judges from Feb. 26th to 28th.

One day prior to the video submission open date, an email was circulated to participating clubs with a symbol and/or word that had to be written on whiteboard or paper, and visible in the video recording to make sure the routine took place within the allotted time frame.

Judging results were to be emailed to all participants on Thursday, March 4th, with awards mailed out on March 10th.

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Dan Ferguson

About the Author: Dan Ferguson

Best recognized for my resemblance to St. Nick, I’m the guy you’ll often see out at community events and happenings around town.
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