Gymnast Connar Tomalty originally planned to quit competing after he broke his leg in a provincial competition in 2014.
He thought his pursuits with the double mini-trampoline (DMT) team were over after a compound fracture required a metal rod to be inserted in his leg.
“But I made it a goal to compete on an international level and came back in 2015 to achieve that.”
Well, that’s what the 25-year-old Langley man did this past weekend in Peru.
Tomalty, who trains out of Flip City Gymnastics, was one of four on the men’s DMT team who earned a silver at the Pan American Championships held in Lima on Saturday.
Team Canada’s trampoline gymnasts earned a total of nine medals, including the one shared by Tomalty and his three Albertan team members (Mark Armstrong of Red Deer, Callum Sundquist of Sherwood Park, and Ryan Sheehan of Grande Prairie).
Saturday night, both the men’s and women’s DMT teams landed on the podium, leaving Tomalty feeling proud and content.
“I believe as a country we did pretty well, we had multiple medals in some different categories,” said Tomalty, who took up gymnastics in 2007 and has been part of Team Canada for the past two years
The silver medal was for a collective score of his team, “and although we didn’t get gold, I’m happy with how the entire team did all together,” he added the morning after returning home, and more than a little tired due to jetlag.
“We are so proud of him and all his accomplishments,” said his mother, Lorraine Tomalty.
“He has worked hard to get on Team Canada for double mini. We are so grateful to Rusty (Pierce) his coach who has been there the 12 years he’s been training.”
Tomalty agrees. Pierce has been his mentor for years, inspiring him to pursue his gymnastic goals. For all that, the young prodigy expressed his gratitude.
“As a coach, he has had so much experience in this sport. [He’s] one of the most knowledgeable in this country in gymnastics, and it shows as he has brought multiple athletes to international level competitions over the years,” Tomalty said.
Next up for many of these athletes are the Trampoline Gymnastics World Championships, which will take place in St. Petersburg, Russia from Nov. 7 to 11.
Plus there’s another international meet, which Tomalty compared to a world cup, coming up in Portugal.
“But, I am not planning on going to it,” he said, noting “I believe I had reached my goals. I wanted to compete on the international level on the Canadian team and I have finally achieved that.”
In preparing for last week’s competition in Peru, Tomalty was training an average of three times a week, but said shin splints have forced him to cut back.
Now, Tomalty said, he might very well begin refocusing on his next goal – his quest for a career in film.
“I would love to transfer my gymnastics skills into stunts in the future, as B.C. is huge for filming TV shows and movies,” he said.
“I really enjoy being active and I believe it would be an awesome career.”