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On December 19, 2000, gymn.ca staff member, Leslie Foster, had the privilege of interviewing newly crowned Elite Canada all-around champion in the novice division, Katherine Fairhurst. Katherine proved to be a delightful, extremely bright young lady with an engaging personality who seems to possess all the right attributes to become a strong contender for Canada in the very near future.
Personal Facts:Club: Gemini Gymnastics, Oshawa, Ontario
Coach: Elena Davydova and Valery Yahchybekov
Age: 12 (DOB January 06, 1988)
Years in Gymnastics: seven
Level: high performance novice
Important results: 2000 Elite Canada AA Novice Champion, 2000 Wimgym Invitational - 1st AA, 1998 Provincial Championships - pre-novice category - 1st AA
Skills:Vault: pike tsukahara; learning front front and pike Yurchenko
Assymetric bars: giant 1/2 (reverse grip) called a "Kellar"; straddle back to handstand and double tuck dismount
Balance beam: ff, layout stepout; fish full; dismount - gainer, bhsp, two foot bhsp, full twist
Floor exercise: ro, whip, whip, 2 ff, double twist; ro, ff, 1.5 twist, punch front; ro, ff, full twist
gymn.ca: Katherine, congratulations on your recent win at Elite Canada!
gymn.ca: What are your future goals in gymnastics?
KF: Well, this year I would like to go to National Championships in New Brunswick and then next year, I'd like to go junior high performance and maybe, if possible, try to make the Olympic team.
gymn.ca: In Athens?
gymn.ca: It would be really great if you represent Canada at the 2004 Olympic Games!
KF: Yeah! (smiles)
gymn.ca: What is your favourite apparatus?
KF: Um, right now, I'd say bars.
KF: Lately I've been able to learn lots of stuff, harder tricks and it's really fun right now.
gymn.ca: What is your least favourite event?
KF: Probably I would have to beam right now.
gymn.ca: You have a difficult time on beam?
KF: Well, I'm learning a lot of new skills and trying to get them really consistent.
Coach Elena Davydova, overhears Katherine and emphasizes that Katherine won beam at Elite Canada as well as floor exercise.
gymn.ca: So you won beam, floor AND the all-around. Wow! You must be pretty good on the beam if you won the gold medal.
KF: (laughs) Yeah.
gymn.ca: Who is your favourite gymnast?
KF: Right now, Lilia Podkopayeva and my second favourite is Kim Zmeskal
gymn.ca: So you like the powerful type gymnasts.
gymn.ca: Are you familiar with the new code of points?
KF: Well, Elena has talked to me about it so I have looked over it a little bit.
gymn.ca: Do you think there will be a lot of changes that you will have to make to your routines?
KF: Yeah, hopefully I will be able to do the new routines.
gymn.ca: Are you very nervous before a competition?
KF: Well, at Elite Canada, I wasn't AS nervous as I was at Wimgym because it was my second competition at high performance but at Wimgym I was pretty nervous (laughs).
gymn.ca: What do you do to control your nerves?
KF: If I am nervous, I just try to visualize all my routines before I start and when I get to the competition, I warm up to see how it feels and it makes me feel a lot better.
gymn.ca: What are your favourite foods?
KF: I don't know. I have lots of favourite foods. Bread.
gymn.ca: The fattening stuff, right? (she nods and we laugh)
gymn.ca: What is your daily schedule?
KF: Well, usually I get up in the morning and get ready for school - school starts at 8:15 and I go until 12:00 and I come to the gym and do all my stretches and everything. I have a lot of problems with bad knees and everything...I'm just covered head to toe (with injuries) so I do a lot stretches and then I go from...supposed to be 1:00 'til 6:00 but usually I go from 1:00 to 6:30. Then I go home and do homework and sometimes my massage therapist comes over to give me a treatment. He's coming over tonight (excited).
gymn.ca: You must feel like a new person after that!
KF: (laughs) Yeah!
gymn.ca: What do you like to do in your spare time?
KF: Well, I usually like to play the piano. I have never taken lessons before. I usually like to read.
gymn.ca: What type of books do you like to read?
KF: Um, I like a lot of the dramatic stuff. Suspence. I like all the mystery and everything like that. Sometimes I like humour but mostly just suspence.
gymn.ca: So you like thriller movies as well?
gymn.ca: Tell me about your family. Do you have any brothers or sisters?
KF: No. My Mom - that is where I get my dancing skills from. She used to do dance and she is very graceful. My Dad has the motivation for himself and he has done so many sports such as baseball, football, basketball. He's done so much stuff. He's got the attitude and everything and I think that's where I get that from.
gymn.ca: You have a good combination of the two of them, don't you?
gymn.ca: Elena tells me that you've had to deal with some injuries this past year. Tell me what they were and how you dealt with them.
KF: Well, right now, I have a broken foot. I broke my fifth metacarpal. I did the exact same thing about six months ago and right now I also have a muscle problem. My tibia is moving, which is causing my muscle to spasm and I had shin splints and I had plantar fascitis - my heels are all bruised inside and I had achilles tendonitis and then I had sprained wrists.
gymn.ca: You had a whole string of injuries! How do you deal with them all?
KF: I don't know. I just say, "there is nothing you can do about it right now".
gymn.ca: How long before you think your ankle will be healed?
KF: My achilles took about a year and a half and they come back every year usually. It's just a constant thing.
gymn.ca: Will your broken foot have to be put in a cast?
KF: Well, I prefer not to. I have a competition in a month and a half so I prefer not to. I'm trying to do everything I can to stay off it - no cast and tight shoes. I have to use a compress.
gymn.ca: I hope it heals quickly for you.
KF: (giggles) Yeah. Oh, and recently I pulled my groin muscle.
gymn.ca: Hopefully you will be able to stay injury free and be able to meet your goals. I wish you well in the future and we'll see you at the next competition.
gymn.ca: Thank you.KF: Thank you. (lots of smiles)