|Amanda at 2001 Spring Cup|
|2001 Spring Cup|
Amanda Gering (last named pronounced with a hard "g"), now a first year senior competitior, is coached by Michel and Valerie Arsenault at the recently opened Champions Gymnastics Club in Edmonton. Gering had previously trained with the Arsenaults at the Ortona Club (host of the popular Wild Rose Invitational), and when they opened their new gym the summer of 2002, Gering followed.
In 2001, Gering ranked as one of the strongest members of the junior High Performance team, having finished 4th all-around at the Canadian championships. Prior to nationals, Gering had taken first place all-around at Burlington's Spring Cup competition. At this competition she showed world class skills on most events, including: a piked Jaeger, Pak salto, and double front off bars; a piked front mount, a switch side leap to straddle jump 1/2 and a double tuck off beam; and a double pike and 2 1/2 twist on floor.
Prior to her victory at the Spring Cup, Gering was no stranger to winning. In July of 2000, she captured first place in the all-around at the International Children's Games Millenium Festival in Hamilton - in a field containing several of the top Canadian national stream and High Performance junior gymnasts.
Gering had made her debut at the Canadian championships in 1999, finishing 10th all-around in the national novice division. In December of that year, she qualified to the junior High Performance programme at the Elite Canada competition in Montreal. At the Canadian championships in May of 2000, also in Montreal, Gering finished 12th after struggling both days on the uneven bars. She ended the year 2000 with a 7th place finish at the Elite Canada competition in Winnipeg - earning the 4th highest all-around score on the second day of competition.
In November of 2001, Gering had her first taste of international competition overseas at the Siska International in Slovenia. Competing as a member of Canada's junior team, she finished 9th in the all-around competition in a field featuring gymnasts from Hungary, the Netherlands, Poland, and Russia. Her strong work on the balance beam earned her a spot in the apparatus finals. Less than a month later, Gering made her senior debut at the Elite Canada competition in Toronto. There, Gering finished 16th - a testament to the tremendous depth on the current Canadian women's team. This result earned her a spot in the senior High Performance programme for 2002.
2002 Highlights: Gering's first year of senior competition in Canada began with a 10th place effort at the Burlington Spring Cup, followed by an impressive 4-event final performance in front of her home crowd at the Wild Rose International in March. Gering's top results helped her to earn nomination to the Canadian Pacific Alliance Championships team, which took place in early May in Burnaby, B.C. "I learned about the competition [PAC] at Wildrose," Gering later told Gymn.ca, "My coaches told me that Wildrose would be kind of like a test, to see if Andrei [Rodionenko, women's national head coach] wanted me on the team. At the end of the training camp they had a coaches meeting, and decided I was to be on the team."
At the Championships, Gering was named team alternate, but under competition rules was still given the opportunity to compete exhibition routines during the team competition. Gering made the most of the opportunity, finishing with the second-highest all-around score, unofficially, among the Canadian junior women. "That whole trip was a good experience because of the training camp, the international meet feeling, and we got to meet tons of new people. I really enjoyed PACs!"
|Gering and Ivan Ivankov were paired up |
at the 2002 Gala Gimnastica De Estrella
The 2002 Canadian Championships were Gering's first as a senior, and although inconsistencies dropped her to 16th all-around, she continued to show that her routines were building in difficulty, adding new skills such as a Hristakieva on vault, a Gienger release on bars, and an arabian double front on floor. Her greatest achievement came on bars, where she picked up the bronze medal. Later that summer, Gering underwent a change of gyms when her long-time coaches opened Champions Gymnastics, a new gym in the Edmonton area. Shortly after her move, Gering was invited to participate in a three-stop tour of gymnastics champions through Mexico (Gala Gimnastica De Estrella). There, she performed alongside gymnastic greats Svetlana Khorkina, Alexei Nemov, Yuri Chechi, and Oksana Chusovitina each night.
Following her stint in Mexico, Gering returned home to train for her next major competition, Elite Canada. At the meet in Gatineau, Quebec, Gering suffered two major errors in the all-around competition (fall on her Yurchenko-full vault and arabian double front on floor exercise) to finish 15th all-around. Despite the set-back, she rebounded the following day with a hit beam routine (double back dismount) to take fourth place in the event finals.