Sports

Richmond to host 17-nation 2014 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships

Former Canadian national team member (trampoline) Anita Cirillo (left) joined current national team artistic gymnasts Briannah Tsang and Scott Morgan at a media conference Wednesday at the Richmond Olympic Oval, announcing the 2014 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships April 9 to 12.  - Don Fennell photo
Former Canadian national team member (trampoline) Anita Cirillo (left) joined current national team artistic gymnasts Briannah Tsang and Scott Morgan at a media conference Wednesday at the Richmond Olympic Oval, announcing the 2014 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships April 9 to 12.
— image credit: Don Fennell photo

Richmond will soon be back in the international sports spotlight.

During the 2010 Olympic Winter Games, the world was focused on the Richmond Olympic Oval for long track speed skating. Now transformed into a multi-sport, fitness and recreation complex, it will host the 17-nation 2014 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships April 9 to 12. The championships will feature many of the world's best artistic, trampoline and rhythmic gymnastics. Close to 300 athletes from around the Pacific Ocean are expected to compete, including perennial Olympic favourites Japan, China, Russia and the U.S.

Following Canada's recent international success—which includes North Vancouver's own Scott Morgan winning bronze in men's artistic gymnastics at the 2012 Pacific Rim championships in Everett, Wash. and placing eighth at the 2013 worlds on the floor exercise—Gymnastics BC CEO Brian Forrester said at media conference Wednesday "the attention of the international gymnastics community has turned to Canada and will be focused on Richmond in April."

Also attending the press conference, Morgan said he can't wait for the opportunity compete at the 2014 Pacific Rim championships.

"I remember as I was building up my gymnastics career watching my peers compete in Australia at the 2010 championships," he said. "That event made me push myself harder, and being able to compete for my country in Everett was absolutely amazing. You learn so much simply being surrounded by that level of athletes and it's really a building block to all the other major events like the world championships and Olympic Games. I feel so fortunate that B.C. gets to host this year's competition in this amazing venue."

Richmond-Steveston MLA John Yap, representing the provincial government, announced that the province will be contributing $75,000 in funding support to the 2014 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships.

"We are investing over $50 million in sport this year," he said. "It's about making our province the strongest and healthiest it can be. B.C. has one of the highest rates of participation in Canada an we aim to keep it that way."

Richmond Mayor Malcolm Brodie said "we feel honoured" to welcome athletes and supporters from around the world to this prestigious event. He said the event will provide a rare opportunity to see some of the world's very best in various gymnastics disciplines—all under one roof, which in itself will be a first for a Pacific Rim meet.

Ticket sales for the 2014 Pacific Rim Gymnastics Championships will begin Feb. 1. There will be two categories of tickets:

•general admission: youth (aged six to 17) and seniors (65 and over) $15 and adult $20; and

•priority seating: $35.

Combo packages for both general admission and priority seating for select days will also be available. All tickets can be purchased on line at pacificrimchamps.eventbrite.com.

 

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