Canada’s only Olympic gold medallist in gymnastics, Kyle Shewfelt, will host a one-of-a-kind weekend gymnastics festival showcasing the sport at its best from the grassroots to elite level, March 25-27, 2011 at the University of Calgary’s Jack Simpson Gymnasium.
The Kyle Shewfelt Gymnastics Festival, in partnership with the University of Calgary Gymnastics Club and in support of Right to Play, will consist of nearly 500 athletes aged six to 26 performing in categories ranging from recreational gymnaestrada to international elite.
“Calgary has played such a critical role in my career, and this inaugural Festival is an opportunity for me to give back to the next generation of gymnasts”, said Shewfelt. “My goal with the event is to provide a fun and engaging atmosphere for athletes, coaches, judges, volunteers and fans alike. I wanted all levels of gymnastics to be represented and I wanted everyone involved to feel awesome!”
“We want our sessions to run fast. We want our environment to be engaging and energetic, and we want every athlete and parent who participates to leave feeling like they just had the best gymnastics experience of their life.”
The 2011 edition of the Festival will feature men’s and women’s artistic competition, a recreational gymnaestrada and various cheerleading, dance and parkour demo’s taking place over the course of the weekend.
Friday night’s men’s artistic competition will be an important international meet. Two Canadian teams will be determined during a week-long training camp leading up to the event. Each of those teams will take on current Olympic champions, Team China, and the 2008 Olympic bronze medallists, Team USA, in a friendly tri-meet beginning at 6:30 p.m.
The top-three senior men and women on each apparatus from Friday’s qualification will advance to the marquee event, the Big Show Finals, held on Saturday night.
Hosted by Kyle Shewfelt himself along with Jill Belland of CITY-TV, the top athletes on all apparatus will compete in front of a packed house and seven celebrity judges including high-profiled Olympians: Kristina Groves (speed skating); Duff Gibson (skeleton); Carla MacLeod (women’s hockey); Regan Lauscher (luge); Adam Wong (gymnastics); and Kaillie Humphries (women’s bobsleigh); Sam Effah (track and field).
The Saturday night spectacle will add a new twist to the traditional gymnastics competition by adding high-energy music being played by DJ Dom G and DJ Gemini, lots of crowd participation, cheerleading, dance and parkour demos, prizes, games, raffles and so much more.
“Our goal with the Big Show Final is to inject new energy into the competition with a unique and energizing format for spectators andathletes to enjoy,” said Shewfelt. “Athletes will feel like rock stars and people in the stands will be fully engaged in the excitement while seeing the sport at its best in Canada. It promises to be an entertaining show!”
Competition takes place each day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Doors for the Big Show Finals on Saturday night open at 6 p.m., and competition gets underway at 7 p.m. Tickets for all sessions can be purchased at the door of the Jack Simpson Gym, and will range from $5-15. All University of Calgary students will receive free entrance with their student ID and a portion of event proceeds will be shared with Right To Play.
“I am so excited for the weekend to get underway,” said Shewfelt, who is also a Right To Play Ambassador. “This is a way to create a legacy, and tie in my charity of choice with Right to Play to make a difference. I am optimistic we can take this foundation year of the Festival and grow it into the largest and most talked about international gymnasticscompetition in Canada.”
Kyle Shewfelt is Canada’s most successful gymnast in history. As a three-time Olympian, Olympic Champion and recent inductee into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, Shewfelt is now considered a legend in the sport. The Calgarian, who worked his way from the Altadore Gymnastics Club to the top of the Olympic podium, retired from competition following his third Olympic Games in 2008. After retiring, Shewfelt has stayed very active in the gymnastics world as an ambassador for Gymnastics Canada, a mentor for the national teams and a television commentator. Shewfelt is excited to continue building a legacy with the inaugural Kyle Shewfelt Gymnastics Festival.
For more information on the inaugural Kyle Shewfelt Gymnastics Festival, please visit us at www.kyleshewfeltgymfest.ca on the Internet.