"If gymnastics is a sport you absolutely love, then keep going because no one can stop you. Only you can stop yourself."
Date of Birth: August 7, 1989 in North York, ON|
Club: Sport Seneca
Coaches: Lisa Cowan, Brian McVey, Carol-Angela Orchard, Lawson Hamer
Previous Clubs: Scarborough Gym Elites under Janice Fowler and Margaret Meek
Training Hours per Week: 23
Favourite Apparatus: Beam, Floor
Least Favourite Apparatus: Bars, Vault
Favourite Gymnasts: "I look up to all gymnasts and apply parts of their performance to mine."
Most memorable competitions: Great West Gym Fest in Coeur d'Alene, Idaho and the 2003 Canada Winter Games in New Brunswick
Hobbies: Shopping ("If I have money to spend"), crocheting.|
Future competitive goals: Short term - to be on the Canadian Senior National team. Long term - to compete for Canada at Worlds, Pan Ams, Commonwealth Games, and Olympics.
If you could ask your fans anything, what would you ask? If you were to pick another gymnast that you think somehow resembles me, who would it be?
|Aimie's Competitive Results|
2001 Elite Canada (Novice): 3rd AA, 7th V, 1st BB, 4th FX|
2002 Canadian Championships (National Novice): 3rd AA
2002 Elite Canada (Junior HP): 3rd AA
2003 Canada Winter Games: 5th AA, 1st BB, 1st FX
2003 Great West Gym Fest: 4th AA, 7th V, 2nd BB, 3rd FX
2003 Bluewater Invitational (Junior HP): 2nd AA, 5th UB, 2nd FX
2003 Gymnix International (Junior HP):2nd AA
2003 Canadian Championships (Junior HP): 2nd AA, 1st V, 4th UB, 1st BB, 1st FX
2003 Ontario Tour Selection (Senior HP): 7th AA
2003 Šiška International: 6th AA, 6th V, 8th BB
2003 Elite Canada (Senior HP): 7th AA, 4th BB, 4th FX
2004 Jurassic Classic: 2nd T, 8th AA, 1st V, 2nd BB|
2004 Pacific Alliance Championships (Juniors): 5th T, 18th AA, 5th FX (tie)
|2nd AA at 03 Bluewater Invitational|
Balderian began her career at the national level with a strong third place finish in the novice division at the 2001 Elite Canada competition, hosted by her home club of Sport Seneca. She also took individual gold in the balance beam, an apparatus that would bring her more success in years to come.
Her success continued in 2002, with strong results at the Gymnix International in Montreal in March, where she won floor exercise in the novice division, giving her a chance to perform a demonstration routine during the junior and senior apparatus finals. A week later, Balderian’s coaches entered her in the junior division at the Burlington Spring Cup – a step up from the novice level meets she was accustomed to competing in. She rose to the challenge however, finishing in 5th place in the all-around. She also tied for second on the balance beam, despite a fall on her unique acrobatic series of aerial cartwheel-back tuck. Her other world class skills and combinations included an illusion-full, a double turn immediate layout step-out, a switch leap to aerial walkover, and a split jump-full. She also earned gasps from the crowd with her blast from the past Burda twirl on the uneven bars (sole circle to 1 ˝ turn). Her all-around result left her as the second ranked Canadian in the meet, in a field that included top junior gymnasts from the United States, Mexico, and Israel. Balderian gained momentum with each competition, and at the Canadian Championships in Winnipeg in May, she earned the bronze medal in the all-around in the novice category. This result, combined with her Elite Canada success, earned her a spot on the youth national team. She continued to improve her skills as the year went on, and at the 2002 Elite Canada meet in Gatineau, Quebec, where she officially moved up to the junior high performance category, she found herself on the all-around podium yet again, finishing third.
|Dancing her way to a 4th place|
finish on FX at 03 Elite Canada
In February, Balderian competed internationally for the first time as a Canadian national team member at the Great West Gym Fest in Idaho, where she finished fourth in the all-around in a field that included Ukrainian Olympian Tatiana Yarosh and junior European medallist Inna Teslenko, also of Ukraine. Balderian sites this as one of her favourite meets to date. March would be a busy and very successful month for Balderian. Originally a team alternate after mistakes at the final trials for the Ontario Canada Winter Games team, she moved onto the competing team after Ottawa’s Melanie Banville elected to bypass the competition to prepare for future international events. Balderian took great advantage of this opportunity and left the Games in Bathurst, New Brunswick, with gold medals on the balance beam and floor exercise events. In fact, she earned the highest score on the balance beam in all three phases of the competition: team (where Ontario took the gold), all-around (where she finished fifth) and the apparatus finals. Balderian followed up with an impressive showing on the Canadian international circuit, finishing second all-around at the Bluewater International in Sarnia, Ontario – where she also took second on the balance beam and floor exercise. At the Gymnix International the following week, she also had a strong performance, earning another silver medal in the junior women’s all-around. This trend would continue at the Canadian Championships in Saskatoon that May, where she earned the silver medal behind Seneca teammate Elyse Hopfner-Hibbs. Balderian went on to dominate the apparatus finals, winning three out of four gold medals on the vault, balance beam, and floor exercise. Her results earned her carded status, and an opportunity to move up to the senior ranks the following season. More international competition would also be in Balderian’s future, with the prestigious Siska International in Slovenia at the beginning of November. There she finished a strong sixth in the all-around – earning new fans with her innovative routines in the process. At the 2003 Elite Canada competition in Mississauga, Ontario, Balderian held her own in a strong field of gymnasts, including most of the gymnasts in contention for the 2004 Olympic team. Gymnastics Canada has often encouraged gymnasts to enter senior level competition nationally one year before being age eligible by FIG standards, and Balderian entered the senior ranks admirably, finishing 7th all-around and qualifying to two apparatus finals – on the two events where she has enjoyed the most success in her career thus far: the balance beam and floor exercise. She just missed the medals, finishing fourth on both events.
|4th on beam at 03 Elite Canada|
Balderian is a stylish and versatile gymnast with a variety of skills on all events. She vaults the piked Luconi, and on the uneven bars she has a piked Jaeger release as well as a difficult giant 1 ˝ to Yezhova (barani from high to low) sequence. Balderian began competing the Yezhova element late in the 2002 season, becoming only the second Canadian to do so. However, it is on the balance beam where Balderian shows her best work. Currently, her acrobatic series is a very stable and solid back handspring immediate two-footed layout, and she also shows a double turn immediate layout step-out, switch leap to aerial cartwheel, illusion-full, split jump-full, tour jete ˝ (all of Balderian’s leaps are done with excellent split position and amplidue), and a punch front. Her floor exercise routines are always crowd pleasers as well, and she continues to upgrade her tumbling, with a front double twist to open, a front-full to front-full middle line, and a strong piked double last series. Although not eligible for the 2004 Olympic Games, Balderian will gain valuable experience competing in the senior ranks along side others training for the games in Athens. Balderian hopes to follow in their footsteps at the world and Olympic level, and she will get her first chance in 2005 when she will be old enough to compete at the world championships for the first time. As she continues to improve her skill level, Balderian will be sure to gain even more fans as she tries to reach her future competitive goals, which include competing at the World Championships, Pan American Games, Commonwealth Games and, of course, the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing, China.
Profile by gymn.ca staff.