International gymnast back in competition after hiatus
It was probably one of the toughest decisions Airdrie gymnast Corissa Boychuk has had to make in the 10 years she’s been a gymnast.
“It was a tough decision because a big part of my personality is competing and I’m driven that way,” she said.
“It was a big decision, but I knew if I could buckle down and focus on training, I could really benefit from it and I’m glad I did it.”
She said in hindsight, taking seven months off from competition was probably the best thing she could do as she heads into the next stage of her career.
Boychuk’s decision came in November 2011 after the World Championships in Birmingham, England, where she won gold in the team double mini trampoline event.
Given that it was an Olympic year with the 2012 Summer Games in London the following August and there wouldn’t be a 2012 World Championships, it was a prime opportunity for Boychuk, 23, to step away from competition for a while.
“It was the perfect time to keep training and try to get bigger and better and work on the mental side of the sport, which I’ve been struggling with the past couple of years,” she said.
“Our sport is kind of scary when you think about it,” she added.
“Any athlete battles with being scared of something, doing it anyways and then wanting it more. It scares you, so I needed to dial down on the anxiety of training, get to the cause of that and figure out how to be bigger mentally.”
Despite her absence from competition, Boychuk stuck to her five-day a week training schedule.
Since she began competing internationally in 2007, Boychuk’s focus has been on the double mini trampoline event, but her hiatus gave her the chance to work on two of her other events, trampoline and tumbling, and it’s paying off.
“With trampoline especially, I’m finding I’m a lot more consistent,” she said.
“I’m staying on the trampoline, which used to be a struggle.
With tumbling, I learned a lot in the last year, but it’s a bit more difficult on the body. It’s a struggle, so I’m not seeing as much there.”
Boychuk returned to competition at the Canada Cup in Langley, B.C., in July.
She placed third in tumbling and fourth in double mini trampoline.
She followed the Canada Cup with a return to form at the Pan American Championships in Queretaro, Mexico, in November, claiming gold in the double mini trampoline and the team event.
Now, with the beginning of the new season kicking off Feb. 2 with the Alberta Cup, Boychuk is readying herself for her first full year of competition in 12 months.
One of her major goals is a return to the World Games, which are being held in Colombia in July.
Her last and only appearance at the World Games was in 2009.
“This is my redemption year,” she said. “I failed a pass in the finals (in 2009), so I’m ready to get there and hopefully do better this time.”