On The Rise: Team Canada

2:19 PM Arabian Punch Front 2 Comments

A new series looking at countries that are On The Rise and may be able to challenge the countries at the top at the team or individual level this quad. Check out On The Rise: Switzerland.

Ellie Black
Credit: Grace Chiu/GraceClick.Ca

In 2012, Team Canada finished the highest ever in a non-boycotted Olympics when they earned 5th place in the Olympic team final. Their Olympic team consisted of Kristina Vaculik, Victoria Moors, Ellie Black, Dominique Pegg, and Brittany Rogers. Christine Peng Peng Lee was named Honorary Team Captain since she injured her ACL during the Olympic selection process. The reserves were Madeleine Gardiner and Jessica Savona. No one has officially retired from elite, so all of these athletes will be a force to be reckoned with in the coming years.

Canada through the years:
2008 Olympics - 2 athletes attended - Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs (16th AA final) & Nansy Damianova (38th AA qualifications, 4th reserve)
2010 World Championships - 13th place
2011 World Championships - 11th place
2012 Olympics - 5th place

Victoria Moors
Achievements: Member of 2012 Olympic Team, 1st FX, 2nd UB, AA 2012 Canadian Nationals; 2nd FX at 2012 London Test Event
Watch For: Strong on floor - athlete most likely to stick her passes including a double layout and double double tucked. Move named after her on UB - toe-on double front 1/2 out dismount. Watch her new floor routine here.
Upgrades: Before the Olympics, Moors tweeted about accidentally doing an Amanar and has recently posted a keek video of her training a full twisting double layout on a trampoline into the pit. She has not competed both the double layout and double double in the same routine but I think it's possible.

Ellie Black
Achievements: 1st AA 2013 Elite Canada; Member of 2012 Olympic Team, 8th VT Olympic Finals; 1st on VT, 3rd FX, 7th on BB 2012 Canadian Nationals
Watch For: Very unique tumbling on floor exercise - including a 2.5 twist through to triple twist. Ellie vaults a Rudi (now 6.2) and a Tsuk 1/1 (5.2). Ellie is working on many upgrades including a new UB dismount and a triple turn-double turn-full turn combination on balance beam. She competed a new dismount at Elite Canada - toe-on piked half.

Dominique Pegg
Accomplishments: Member of 2012 Olympic Team, placed 17th in AA final; 2nd AA, 3rd VT & BB 2012 Canadian Championships; Member of 2011 World Championship Team, finished 62nd in AA in qualifications.
Watch For: Her strongest events are vault and floor. On floor, she has a double layout and a front handspring-front handspring-front layout full to stag jump. Watch here.

Brittany Rogers
Credit: All Flipped Out

Canadians in NCAA
There are a lot of Canadians in the NCAA this season and none have said anything definitively about retiring from elite so we'll have to wait for the NCAA season and the school year to finish before we know if we'll see them in elite again.

Kristina Vaculik, junior at Stanford
Member of 2012 Olympic Team, 1st AA 2012 Canadian Championships
Watch: Kristina's best events are UB, with a Gienger to die for and a double front dismount, and BB with a Rufolva (full twisting Korbut)

Jessica Savona, freshman at LSU, recovered from ACL tear to be a strong contender for Canada's Olympic Team and was eventually designated as an alternate. I think she may consider elite again given the difficulty of her NCAA FX routine - 1.5 through to double tuck, half in-half out, and a double pike dismount.
Watch her Michael Jackson Medley FX - complete with moonwalk:

Brittany Rogers, freshman at Georgia, tweeted that she had learned a few more D elements on bars before she joined Georgia in January. Maybe she will be able to use them in the new 0.2 connection bonus on bars. At Georgia, she has competed on vault, bars, and beam, and was just recently added to the floor lineup for 1 meet.
Accomplishments: Member of 2012 Olympic Team, 7th VT Olympic Finals; 2nd on VT, 5th UB and BB at 2012 Canadian Championships, 
Watch For: competed in the Olympic vault event finals with a Lopez (round-off 1/2 on, 1/2 off) (5.6) and a Double Twisting Yurchenko (5.8). Was 16th on UB after qualifications with a Ricna (stalder Tkatchev), a Markelov/Khorkina, and an arabian double front dismount (6.0 D-score). On BB, she does the Rogers - 1/4 back handspring to double stag handstand with 1-arm raised - and a Kotchetkova (full twisting back handspring). Watch her UB (9.875) and 1.5 TY on VT (9.9) for Georgia.

Christine Peng Peng Lee, freshman at UCLA, still recovering from torn ACL
We'll likely know if Christine Lee will be competing this year by the end of February/early March. NCAA Championships will be held at UCLA so head coach Miss Val would be more than happy to have Lee competing. However, no one wants to rush her rehab until her knee has healed and a question remains if it's better to have her red-shirt the first year so that she can potentially compete all-around for 4 full seasons or use up eligibility now on 1 event for half a season.
Watch For: Strong all-arounder, showed upgrades on floor (double layout) and beam (standing full) before injury. If we see her this year, it will likely be just on bars where she does a Bhardwaj (full twisting Pak salto to the low bar). As we await her return (link):

Canada has so many exciting athletes. Part 2 to come with quotes from some more senior and up-and-coming junior athletes on their expected upgrades!


  1. I think Canada got to send 2 athletes to Beijing in 2008: Nansy Damianova and Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs.