Susie Grynol, female novice national trampolinist, returned to Fort Frances on Monday feeling tired but fulfilled after competing in the national championships in Montreal.
The Ontario team finished first in Canada, with Grynol placing sixth in Ontario.
More than 200 national-level athletes from Alberta, British Columbia, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, and Saskatchewan competed at the University of Montreal.
“I was able to use my French a lot,” Grynol noted. “French Immersion came in handy. I was the only one who could really converse with the French athletes.”
Grynol said Chris Mitruk and Lisa Colussi, the 1997 world champions, were competing there, adding they were spectacular to watch.
Grynol’s optional routine was very good with a score of 28.30.
“I was nervous on my first routine, the compulsory, and didn’t do as well as I could have but I got through it and placed 20th in Canada which isn’t bad for a rookie.
“There was some pretty experienced competitors,” she added.
“It was very hot in Montreal, too. The higher you jumped, the hotter it got,” she noted. “The heat and humidity kind of sapped your energy.”
Jean Juneau has offered to coach Grynol by video next year.
“It’s difficult to get national level coaches to come to Fort Frances,” noted coaching co-ordinator Betty Grynol. But she added the club has some leads and it is training some new coaches this month.
Grynol was able to practice on Thursday for two hours to get used to the trampolines. They were the same as the competitive hotbed the club has here so that made it easier.
“There was no training camp this year before nationals, which disappointed me,” Grynol said. “I could have used some extra coaching before the big competition.
“Jean Juneau was a great support and gave me last-minute advice. Dave Ross was a good help, too, but he was busy with so many other athletes,” she added.
Grynol also said she learned a lot about mental preparation and focusing.
“You have to be focused when you get to that level. Many of the athletes lost it and were really disappointed,” she noted.
“I’m pretty used to competing from gymnastics and that gave me some added confidence to do my best,” she continued. “I feel I had a very good meet. I know what I have to do for next year.”
But it was not all competition. Grynol also managed to visit some quaint shops with a coach and some of the Ontario team members. She said she enjoyed the sights, which included a tour of St. Joseph’s Oratory, Mount Royal, the Olympic Village, Notre Dame Du Havre, the harbourfront with the big ships, and “old” Montreal.
The athletes also were treated to a semi-formal banquet and video dance on the final night, which was great fun. Presentations were made at the banquet to the top athletes in each category.
With the Olympics only two years away, there is a lot of work to be done. There are 17 spots in the Olympics for trampoline and Canada will send one male and one female.