Dick honoured as top gymnast
Alberta Gymnastics Federation female athlete of the year
By: Jeff Hansen
| Posted: Wednesday, Oct 23, 2013 06:00 am
Marisa Dick was doing cartwheels at the Alberta Gymnastics Federation awards banquet as the female athlete of the year.
The 16-year-old St. Albert gymnast was saluted for her performances on the national and international stage in 2012/13 at Saturday’s presentation in Calgary.
“I was super surprised. I didn’t know it was going to be me at all. It’s just really honouring,” Dick said. “It’s a good role model position too because the younger girls can look up to me and I will have advice for them.”
The Capital City Gymnastics Club member vaulted into prominence in the open 16-plus category at nationals by winning gold in the floor exercise to finish fourth all-around. It was her first medal in five trips to the Canadian championships.
The Grade 11 Paul Kane High School student also represented Trinidad and Tobago for the second time in two years at the Pan American Artistic Gymnastics Championships.
She also competed at the 44th annual world championships earlier this month in Antwerp, Belgium and placed 50th out of 81 females in the all-around category, the highest ranking ever by a Trinidad gymnast.
Dick was restricted to the open division at nationals this year because of her international commitments with the Caribbean country. At provincials she was the second all-around open gymnast.
Dick has duel citizenship because her mom, Hannifer, was born in Trinidad.
“It’s awesome that there is a lot of support there for me and they believed in me enough to send me and get results back,” said the 2013 Trinidad national champion.
At worlds Dick showed she belonged with the best of the best. Her all-around score was 49.232 and the difference between 50th and 30th place was 3.099 points.
“I was hoping I was good enough and then I proved it to myself that I was able to compete with them,” she said. “There were Olympians there and world champions so it was super cool that I was able to compete with them and stand my ground.”
Dick approached her first worlds without fear of the unknown.
“I was pretty nervous but not any more nervous than I am for any other competition so that was good,” she said. “My goal was just to hit my routines.”
Dick placed highest on the balance beam at 38th overall, ahead of such notable London Olympians as McKayla Marone of the United States, Rebecca Tunney of Great Britian, Elisabeth Seitz of Germany and Asuka Teramoto of Japan.
She also finished 59th on the uneven bars, 61st on vault and 100th on floor.
“I thought it could've gone better. I was a little disappointed with floor but I was happy that I was able to hit my routines and kept going after I fell,” Dick said of the two slips on the floor.
Dick was proud of her effort on bars.
“It was the last event and my routine didn't start off perfect so I just kept fighting and I was able to get through.”
Prior to worlds, Dick competed for Trinidad at the Pan Americans in San Juan, Puerto Rico in August but wasn’t thrilled with her results.
“It didn't go very well. I was kind of floating around between gyms and I was trying to get training in. I was injured too so I just wasn't fully prepared for that meet,” said Dick, who placed 11th on beam, 16th on bars, tied for 17th on vault and finished 28th on floor.
Last year Dick was the first junior elite gymnast to compete for Trinidad at the Pan Americans. She tied for sixth on floor, placed seventh on vault and finished 15th all-around in Medellin, Colombia.
The next international meet for Dick is a World Cup competition in Scotland prior to the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.
Also on the horizon is the 2015 Pan/Parapan American Games in Toronto and the Rio 2016 Olympics.