Gymnast Jesse Tyndall, 16, has returned to Saskatoon from the Olympic Hopes Cup in the Czech Republic with some shiny hardware. Gold in fact.
A member of the junior national team, Tyndall placed fourth in high bar and sixth on the pommel horse in the individual events, while the team captured first place in the overall event.
“It’s definitely a highlight of my career and one that I’ll remember for a long time,” Tyndall said.
Only six members of the team were selected to represent Canada in the Czech Republic. At a training camp in Montreal where the team was chosen, Tyndall was the lone member from Saskatchewan.
In the high bar event, a three-way tie left Tyndall off the podium.
“I took a little bit of a step on my dismount,” Tyndall recalled.
“If I would have taken a little one or stuck it, I would have came first which was exciting but disappointing at the same time”.
On the pommel horse, Tyndall and his coach of six years, Markos Baikas, designed a tough routine. Out of a possible score of 15.4, Tyndall scored 12.65.
“I was hoping for a little more, and I didn’t fall which was good. But I had a couple of form breaks,” said Tyndall, who ended up sixth.
For the overall team event, it came down to the parallel bars to decide their place in the competition.
“When we realized we came first, it was pretty surreal. To feel that all the hard work leading up to it was finally paying off.”
Baikas, who also coaches the junior national team, had high praise for Tyndall.
“He’s very creative, which is a bonus for an athlete.”
Tyndall will be representing Canada at the junior level for another season and then hopes to upgrade to the senior national team. After that, he’ll be dreaming of the rings.
“The big goal is to represent Canada on the Olympic stage. That would be a dream come true,” Tyndall added.