Miller & Carroll produce historic day for Saskatchewan, Ontario’s Olasz & Québec’s Sgarbossa take top prize in all-around competition at 2023 Canada Games
STRATFORD, PEI (February 26, 2023) — Saskatchewan appeared to save its best for last on the final day of artistic gymnastics at the PEI 2023 Canada Winter Games. During the individual apparatus finals for both men and women, which capped off an incredible week at Canada’s largest multi-sport event, Rylee Miller (Canam Gymnastics, SK) and Jordan Carroll (Taiso Gymnastics Club, SK) etched their names into Canada Games lore by doing what no other Saskatchewanians had done before in artistic gymnastics.
Arguably the biggest of their achievements came from Miller. During Friday afternoon’s female apparatus finals, Miller put together a memorable performance, as she took home bronze (uneven bars), silver (beam) & gold (floor) medals. That trifecta of medals made Miller Saskatchewan’s most decorated female gymnast in Canada Games history. Prior to Friday, Saskatchewan had only totaled four medals from female athletes in artistic gymnastics over the Games’ 56-year history — meaning Miller nearly doubled their total in a single day.
“This was definitely beyond my wildest dreams, especially on beam. I think that was the best beam routine I’ve ever done,” stated Miller, who’s golden result in floor was also a Canada Games first for a Saskatchewan female gymnast. “I was supposed to go to the last Canada Winter Games [in 2019], but I was unfortunately injured. So, it has been my goal for four years now to get here, and I am happy that I got here and showed off everything that I could do.”
Speaking of firsts, Carroll became the first gymnast from Saskatchewan to win pommel horse at the Canada Games. The 17-year-old from Saskatoon achieved the feat by posting a final score of 12.500 that placed him ahead of Dominic Allaire (Laval Excellence, QC) of Québec (12.425) and Ethan Ikeda (Twisters Gymnastics Club, BC) of British Columbia (12.375).
“I’m super excited, not only just because I got my gold medal, but for Saskatchewan. It is really exciting to compete for the province and represent them the way I did,” said Carroll, who’s mother Mary is an Olympic diver (1992), his sister Sydney is on the national artistic swimming team, and his Dad Steven who competed at the 1985 Canada Games. “When I saw the [pommel horse] result, it was the highest score that I’ve gotten at the Canada Games so far. So, I was super happy and I couldn’t stop smiling really.”
Friday’s individual apparatus finals were also highlighted by the performance of Québec’s Victor Canuel (École les Dynamix, QC), who had the best week of any gymnast at the 2023 Canada Games with six medals. Having already earned a bronze medal in the team event and a silver in the male all-around competition, Canuel came out on Friday and won four more medals: a gold (vault), two silver (floor & rings) and bronze (horizontal bar).
Besting Canuel for the male all-around title was Ontario’s Xavier Olasz (Loyalist Gymnastics Club, ON), who also put together a strong week at the 2023 Games. Having already taken home a gold in Monday’s team event and another one on Wednesday in the men’s all-around final, Olasz added a pair of bronze medals with third-place finishes in the vault and rings.
“It was a great experience coming to the Games. This competition comes around once every four years. So, to come out and perform well, it is definitely a great feeling,” added Olasz, who’s coached by Alexander (Sasha) Jeltkov, who won a single Games record eight medals at the 1995 Canada Winter Games in Grand Prairie, Alberta. “To be able to finish on top [in the male all-around] is a great feeling. It is something that I will never forget. Not many people get the opportunity, so it is definitely something that I won’t forget.”
In Thursday’s female all-around final, it was Québec’s Frédérique Sgarbossa (Unigym Gatineau, QC) who topped the podium (37.665), finishing ahead of Jenna Sartoretto (Future Gymnastics, ON) from Ontario (37.032) and Raphaëlle Perreault (SherGym, QC) from Québec (37.019). Sartoretto finished the week as the most decorated of all the female gymnasts at the 2023 Canada Games, having won two golds (team & beam) and two silvers (all-around & vault). Meanwhile, Québec’s Sgarbossa and Perreault, who’s mother Annie is a three-time Olympic and five-time Canada Games medallist, took home three medals each.
“I have no words. I wasn't really expecting that. The girls were super good [on Thursday night], and I did what I could and I managed to place first,“ added Sgarbossa, who is set to attend Iowa State University and compete with the Cyclones gymnastics program next fall. “The beam for me is the most stressful, but [on Thursday] I had it. I stayed on it! The floor isn’t as stressful for me. I was going to have fun and do the best I could do. Plus, when I was on the floor, the atmosphere from the spectators was really cool. Everyone was there to cheer me on. It absolutely helped me and motivated me.”
Full results from the past week’s competition can be found on the 2023 Canada Games Gems Pro website or via LiveMeet.
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