|Joelle's Competitive Results|
1997 Canadian Championships, Novice: 7th AA
1998 Bluewater International, Junior: 10th AA, 5th V, 5th UB, 7th FX
1998 Canadian Championships, Junior: 5th AA
1998 Elite Canada, Junior: 15th AA
2000 Bluewater International, Junior: 13th AA
2000 Canadian Championships, Junior: 6th AA
Gymnastic Challenge 2000: 2nd V
2000 Junior Pan Am Championships: 9th AA, 4th V, 5th BB
2001 Romanian International: 15th AA, 7th FX|
2001 Canada vs France: 1st Team
2001 Cottbus Cup: 10th V, 13th BB, 4th FX
2001 Canadian Championships, Senior: 7th AA, 2nd V, 4th FX
2001 NED-CAN-CZE-GER: 3rd Team, 18th AA (did not compete UB)
2001 World Championships: 10th Team
2001 DTB Cup: 9th V, 17th BB, 15th FX
2002 Elite Canada: 26th AA (3 events), 5th BB
2003 Bluewater International: 5th V, 2nd FX
2003 Canadian Championships, Senior: 22nd AA, 7th V, 8th FX
|Joelle at '02 Training Camp|
After three seasons in the junior High Performance program, Joelle Ouellette made a splash in 2001, with impressive results at home and abroad, en route to a berth on the Canadian world championship team. Coached by Nick and Doina Moscu at the Hamilton Gym Elites, Ouellette had had mixed results in her junior career. After placing 7th as a novice at the 1997 national championships, and finishing 5th as a junior in 1998, injuries slowed her down and forced Ouellette to miss most of the big meets in 1999. Many of her fellow gymnasts were invited to compete as seniors in the year 2000, despite not being FIG age eligible, whereas Ouellette, born August 27, 1985, remained at the junior level. By the spring she was fast returning to top form, however, and at the Bluewater International, Ouellette qualified for event finals on floor and vault while finishing 13th in the all-around. At the Canadian championships in Montreal, she finished 6th in the all-around, and was one of the only gymnasts in the meet - junior or senior - to perform a full-in on floor. As a result of her strong showing in Montreal, Ouellette was selected to compete on the Ontario team at the Gymnastic Challenge 2000 in Mississauga. At this competition, Ouellette had the second highest score on vault - behind only former world and Olympic gold medalist Shannon Miller. In December of 2000, Ouellette was chosen to compete for the Canadian team at the Junior Pan American Championships in Brazil, where she ended up as the top Canadian, finishing 9th in the all-around. She also finished 4th in the vault finals and 5th on the balance beam. This was a significant result for Ouellette, as her three teammates had all competed as seniors at the Canadian championships that year.
Early in 2001, Ouellette was chosen by national team coach Andrei Rodionenko to compete with the Canadian team at a dual meet against France in Calgary, where her strong performances helped the Canadian team secure first place. Less than a month later, she would face her most important competitive challenge to date - an appearance at the prestigious Cottbus Cup in Germany. Competing for only the second time outside of Canada, and in her first competition in Europe, Ouellette held her own in a field of competitors featuring the reigning Olympic champions on three of the four events. She qualified for the finals in the floor exercise with a score of 8.7, which was good enough for 4th place in the preliminaries. She maintained this ranking in the event finals, where she was able to increase her score to 8.85, a solid score under the new Code of Points. Her routine featured world class tumbling of a tucked full-in, triple-twist, double pike, and front through to 2 1/2 twist - two E and two D passes - as well as new dramatic choreography. She also performed well in another one of her strong events, the vault, finishing 10th in the preliminaries with a score of 8.825, which was just two-tenths away from the finals. Ouellette made her only other appearance in this competition on the balance beam, where she finished 13th with a score of 7.95.
After a 7th place finish in the all-around at the Canadian championships - where she took the highest score on floor exercise - Ouellette was invited to the training camp to select the team for the world championships. The selection camp took place at her home gym, and following two days of control tests with the strictest of judging, Ouellette was named to her first world championship team. Weeks of intense training followed, as well as an important preparatory competition in the Netherlands, which also included teams from Germany and the Czech Republic. At the world championships in Ghent, Belgium, Ouellette was chosen to compete on three events (she is still developing her skills on her weakest event, the uneven bars) and performed very solidly on her two best events: vault (Hristakieva - she can also do a Phelps), and floor (where she tumbled a full-in, two whips through to 2 ½ twist, triple twist, and double pike).
Ouellette's first year of senior competition both nationally and internationally (she finished the year by competing three events at the DTB Cup in Germany) should give her a strong foundation to build on as she approaches the 2002 competitive season. Many team opportunities are available this year for Ouellette and the rest of the Canadian team with the Pacific Alliance Championships, Commonwealth Games, and individual event world championships all on the international gymnastics calendar this year. If the year 2001 is any indication, Ouellette should be in contention for all of these teams.
Written by: Christopher Scott