International success for 11-year-old Calgary gymnast
Published Friday, February 15, 2013 12:24PM MST
Last Updated Saturday, February 16, 2013 10:45AM MST
In 2012, Calgary gymnast Elijah Thompson sat at the top of the Canadian rankings for 10 and 11-year-olds and his success extended outside the gym.
The 24 hours he spends training at the gym each week shows Elijah’s commitment to his sport.
Early in February of 2013, Elijah and his teammates tested themselves against their American counterparts at a meet in Nevada.
The Las Vegas gymnastics meet was Elijah's first international competition and he finished 6th out of 89 competitors in the individual all-around.
Elijah’s coach Scott Rayment was not surprised by Elijah’s success on the international stage.
“I have high hopes for him, I see Olympics,” says Rayment, coach of the men’s program at the Calgary Gymnastics Centre. “The way he works, trains, his attitude, his motivation and his skills, he has the potential to make 2020 or 2024.”
When he's not in the gym, Elijah likes to play violin with his three siblings, all of whom have special needs
11-year-old Elijah will be presented with the Queen Elizabeth Diamond Jubilee medal for his contributions to his community and support of the ‘Right To Play’ program.
Elijah’s involvement with Right To Play (his fundraising page is avaliable here) was inspired by his mentor, Olympic gold medalist Kyle Shewfelt.
“I wanted to get involved because I want other kids to know what it is to have fun, to play around, to be in fresh air and to learn new things,” says Elijah. “Not everybody in the world gets to do stuff like that.”
For his compassion and dedication to the sport of gymnastics, Elijah Thompson is the CTV Athlete of the Week sponsored by Big Chief Beef Jerky.