|Gerber won the 03 |
ON Tour Selection
Name: Aisha Gerber
Birthdate: June 21, 1990
Coaches: Kelly & Sue Manjak, Lorne Bobkin
Club: Oakville Gymnastics
Category: Senior High Performance
Aisha Gerber is one of Canada's finest gymnasts. Starting at age 3 she
trained at the Cambridge Kips Gymnastics Club (home club of former Olympians Yvonne Tousek and Crystal Gilmore),
switching to Oakville Gymnastics in 2007 following a short break from the sport.
|Gerber at 03 Elite Canada|
2000-2001 Highlights: Gerber made a splash in her national debut, placing second all-around in the novice division at the 2000 Elite Canada at just ten years of age. After missing her first opportunity to compete at her first national championships in 2001 due to injury, Gerber began a very impressive winning streak at the national level by taking first in the novice all-around at the 2001 Elite Canada in Toronto. Gerber also took first on the floor exercise, and placed third on vault and balance beam. Since that competition, Gerber has been undefeated in every national competition she has entered, a streak that has stretched over more than two years.
2002-2003 Highlights: Gerber continued her dominance of the novice field by taking home four gold medals (team, all-around, vault, and uneven bars) at her first national championships in 2002. Later that year, the 12 year-old made the leap to junior national competition with seeming ease, winning her second consecutive gold medal at Elite Canada in Gatineau, Quebec. Gerber's victory was even more impressive, considering she was the second-youngest athlete entered in the competition (Seneca's Leslie Mak, who finished eighth, was the youngest), and defeated athletes as much as two years older than she.
Injury struck again in 2003, however, forcing Gerber to miss the national championships in May. The 13 year-old returned to competition in fine form in the fall, however, by first winning the Ontario Tour Selection meet in Mississauga, then
traveling to Marseille, France, just days later to compete in her first international competition, the prestigious Trophee Massilia. At the meet, Gerber had the chance to share the floor with a world-class international field for the first time while representing her country as part of the Canada 2 team, along with Cambridge teammates Madison Ward and Jennifer Lezeu. Undaunted by the experience, Gerber competed well enough to be Canada's second-highest finisher in 22nd all-around. Gerber also had the opportunity meet world and Olympic gold
medalist Yelena Zamolodchikova after the competition, which Gerber said was one of her biggest thrills of the meet.
|Gerber exhibits unique
Just two weeks later, Gerber was forced to peak for competition for the third time in a month, this time for the all-important Elite Canada in Mississauga, Ontario. Once again, Gerber rose to the occasion, winning her third consecutive title at the meet (and second as a junior), despite suffering falls from the balance beam in the all-around. Fatigue finally caught up with Gerber in the event finals, however, as she committed several errors to finish out of the medals entirely.
Gerber's gymnastics: At just 13 years old, Gerber already has one of the most difficult programs in Canada. A natural all-arounder, she says she does not prefer any one event. Nonetheless, it is on the balance beam where Gerber has generated the most attention for her work. Her routine is already world-class, and includes an original opening sequence of stag handstand, step down to layout, layout, layout to two feet. Gerber also shines on the floor exercise, where she already tumbles three double saltos (full-in, arabian double front, and double pike) and a triple twist, which is effectively combined with the dramatic choreography that coach Elvire Saadi's gymnasts have become famous for. With such a high level of difficulty already in place, Gerber's challenge over the coming years will be to master her complex and unique routines to develop the consistency she will need at the senior national and international level.
Vault: Full twisting layout Yurchenko.
Uneven Bars: Straight body hecht over low bar to high bar; kip cast handstand; stalder 1/2 turn
to piked Tkatchev; Hindorff; giant full to Pak salto; giant swing to full twisting double back dismount.
Balance Beam: stag handstand at end of beam, step down to immediate layout stepout, layout stepout, layout to two feet; switch leap to gainer front aerial;
front aerial; Onodi; side somi; two backhandsprings to two feet to double back dismount.
Floor Exercise: RO, ff, double arabian; RO, ff, full twisting double back; RO, ff, whip back, triple twist;
RO, ff, double pike.
prelims at the 2006 American Cup. Gerber went on to place 3rd AA in the
Photos by Ruth Judson