Camille Martens (CAN)
Tribute courtesy of Robin Catalano

 

Photo used with the expressed permission of Shanfan. Check out Shanfan's gymnastics site!

When 8-year-old Camille Martens watched the 1984 Olympics on TV, she knew immediately that she wanted to be a rhythmic gymnast. The beauty, grace, and skill were irresistible to her, and she assertively told her father that she would someday be in the Olympics. Little did he know that this prophecy-- and much more-- would come true.

A couple of years later, Martens met up with Lori Fung, the first Olympic Champion in rhythmic, and it was then that she began her training in earnest. Martens moved away from home to train at 11 years old, but within a few years the sacrifice paid off: she became the Canadian Junior Champion at just 14, and two years later won her first Senior National title. She headed to the World Championships in 1993, and there placed a respectable 21st in the all-around. In 1994, Martens took home 6 medals (gold for team and silver for the all-around and each event final) - more medals than any other Canadian gymnast at those Commonwealth Games, and also picked up a bronze in the all-around at the Four Continents Championships. She placed 29th at that year's World Championships, but felt that she needed a change.

This change took the form of Bulgarian coach Ludmilla Dimitrova. Under Dimitrova's guidance, the Canadian gymnast, best known for her smooth, mature style and ability to express her love of performance in every routine, earned a stellar set of achievements in 1996: 11th at the Kalamata Cup, 6th at the Shishmanova Cup, and 14th at Corbeil. Martens' international accomplishments easily earned her Canada's only spot in the 1996 Olympics. Once there, a drop in her first event denied her the chance to compete in the all-around final. She wound up 33rd, a result that frustrated the driven athlete. But her Olympic goal was met, and she retired in satisfaction.

Following her marriage to physician Patrick Yam in April 1997, Martens opened her own rhythmic club, Okanangan Rhythmics, in her hometown of Vernon, BC. There she is involved in both running the gym and coaching young students of many different levels. But following just one path has never been enough for Camille, and in 1999 she returned to the competitive ranks. Only a few months into her comeback, she placed an impressive 5th all-around at the 1999 Canadian National Championships.

On May 7 2000, Camille and her husband Patrick welcomed their first child into the world. Photos of the proud parents with their new son, Micah Daniel Patrick Lam, can be viewed at the Okanangan Rhythmics Web site. On November 18 2001, the couple welcomed daughter Anastasia Elyse.

Camille Martens was born on June 1, 1976.

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1999-2002. This page was created on July 26th, 1999 and last updated on May 29, 2000.

 

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