Slideshow

Inside the 2017 Elite Canada artistic gymnastics meet

Athletes from across Canada met in Halifax for the competition

Halifax’s own Alexander Watters took home the highest overall score in his division.   Jillian Ellsworth

The Canada Games Centre in Halifax was bustling with activity over the weekend as gymnasts from across the country gathered to compete in the 2017 Elite Canada competition.

Athletes maneuvered through floor exercises, soared over the high bars, and leaped along the balance beam.

Gymnasts performed on the nine different apparatuses scattered throughout the gym — filling the the fieldhouse with ordered chaos.

Gymnastics has been an Olympic sport since the 19th century and many of the young athletes say they have dreams of representing their country one day.

Julie Forget, a representative from Gymnastics Canada, says events like these can inspire the younger athletes who come to cheer on their teammates.

“They get to see their heroes do what they do best,” she says.

One of these heroes is Canadian Olympic team member Ellie Black, who unfortunately wasn’t able to compete due to an ankle injury but was still happy to take photos and give advice to the young gymnasts. Black attended the event to support Alta Gymnastics Club, her hometown gym. Her brother William competed in the senior men’s division.

The competition was stiff, with over 50 athletes in the running, but Halifax’s own Alexander Watters took home the top prize in the junior men’s event. His Alta teammate Jeremy Bartholomeusz finished second and says competing in front of a home crowd felt “fantastic.”

This is the second year in a row that Halifax has hosted the annual Elite Canada competition after a sold-out 2016 performance.