Prince Edward Classic Attracts Canada’s Best
One of Canada’s largest and longest running gymnastics events is hosted annually by the Island Gymnastics Academy at the Delta Prince Edward Hotel in Charlottetown, making it one of the most unique competitions in the country where gymnasts can eat, sleep and compete all under one roof. And the prestigious event has recently gained the interest of two of Canada’s best gymnasts including Ellie Black and Hugh Smith of Halifax.
Black was a member of the 2012 Canadian Olympic Team and a key competitor to helping Canada with their best-ever fifth place finish in the team event. Black was also Canada’s leading scorer on the vault exercise where she made it to event finals and placed 8th in the world. She made an historic breakthrough with her 9th place all around finish at the 2014 World Championships posting Canada’s best-ever result in the event. Black has also positioned herself as the country’s best all around competitor, dominating the all around category at every National Championships since 2013. She became a household name recently at the 2015 Pan Am games where she won 5 gold medals, including an individual all-around which was the first by a Canadian in the event since 1979. She is training now for the 2016 Olympic Games later this year in Rio.
Black will be joined by National Teammate Hugh Smith who is also a well known name in the gymnastics world. Smith has competed in 3 Pan Am Games since 2007 and he was a National Gold Medal winner at the 20122, 2012, 2013 and 2015 Championships. He also represented Canada at the 2014 National Championships in Nanning China. A long time member of the Canadian National Team, Smith is a team veteran hoping to secure a team spot for Canada at the 2016 Olympics.
Ellie Black and Hugh Smith will be exhibiting their routines on Saturday January 23 with warm-up starting at 4:30pm; however, there will be a full week-end of high performance gymnastics competition with over 500 participants representing 14 clubs in over 24 categories from across Canada starting on Friday morning and running through to Sunday morning. Administrator Lea Rand says the combination of the unique venue, along with the high quality of competition is the main attraction for competitors and audiences: “The venue has undergone some major renovations and updates over the last year and we are seeing this competition continue to grow every year. We’re constantly complimented by coaches, judges and athletes at how professional and flawless this competition moves and we’re so delighted that our little club from Prince Edward Island has built such a wonderful event.”