Elite gymnasts take the stage at Montreal’s Claude-Robillard Sports Complex

Canadian Rose Woo performs on the uneven bars at the Gymnix International competition in Montreal on Friday, March 10, 2017. Antoine Saito/International Gymnix

Gymnasts from all over the world are gathering in Montreal this weekend for the International Gymnix competition being held at the Claude-Robillard Sports Complex.

The annual competition first got its start 26 years ago.

Event organzier Anne-Maud Jan Viau explained that Gymnix began the event as way to expose their gymnasts to international competition.

“At the beginning, there were [only] two countries,” Jan Viau said.

This year, 900 athletes from 15 countries are taking part in the meet.

It’s a major competition, and for many young and upcoming Canadian gymnasts, it’s a chance to show what they’re made of.

“It’s a great experience,” said  Jan Viau. “For most of them it’s their first international competition, and it’s a chance for them to make their mark.”

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The competition also sets the stage for the upcoming 2017 FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championship also taking place in Montreal in the fall.

While in the world of gymnastics, the Gymnix competition is very well known, Jan Viau said she hopes members of the general public will also stop by for a peek.

“It’s an amazing show,” she said. “It’s like watching a circus performance.”

As it happens, she added each Gymnix event is followed by an actual circus show.

Some of the athletes to watch out for include Quebecers Megan Philips, as well as Uzbekistan’s Oksana Chusovitina.

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Chusovitina, 41, has seven Olympics under her belt, and will be competing in the beam and vault finals on Sunday.

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“Most of the international gymnasts are 16 to 25 years old,” Jan Viau said, noting Chusovitina’s exceptional career.

As well as taking in performances from some of the top gymnasts in the world, fans of all ages will have a chance to learn more about the sport by participating in some introductory workshops.

For more information, visit the International Gymnix website.