Article on Barbara Gasser

12:19 AM

This article was published 11 days ago, but I've been a little slow off the mark if you know what I mean - work and sickness and study! And some well deserved time in the gym of course. It is quite interesting to note the number of elite gymnasts who are based in a different country than what they compete for. Many it's time to look at a full list?

Bluewater gymnast strong at Euro meet:

Barbara Gasser of Sarnia placed 19th all around at the 2008 European Gymnastics Championships currently taking place in Clermont-Ferrand France.

The 18-year-old gymnast is a member of the Bluewater Gymnastics Club in Sarnia, and has maintained her Austrian citizenship since she and her family moved to Canada almost five years ago. Barbara is a member of the Canadian Program as well and placed 12th in Canada at the 2007 Elite Canada Competition in December 2007.

Her result at the European Championships is a huge success for her and her native country. It stands as the best ever placing in the all around competition for an Austrian Gymnast,

"Barbara's leadership and performance also lead the team Austrian team to its best ever result," said her personal coach Dave Brubaker. Although 14th place as a team is a far cry from the medals, it was reason for an "Austrian Celebration" for the team that usually fluctuates between 15th and 20th in the European Gymnastics Union. Austrian

Head coach Johanna Gratt was extremely pleased with the outcome, and explained that there were several comments in the post competition debriefing from European, judges and coaches, about the new style and look of the Austrian Team and Staff. Brubaker, one of the Bluewater Coaches, was also a member of the Coaching Team for Austria, at the 2008 Europeans.

Gasser will remain in Europe to compete in her first "World Cup" event in two weeks in Cottbus Germany. Immediately after she will be joined by Canadian teammates Emma Willis, Dominique Pegg, and Emily Bigras and together there foursome will tee off at the 2008 Austrian Team Championships. This will act as a tune up for Willis who will also remain in Europe for a few weeks to take part in the World Cup circuit in Maribor, Slovenia. The Debut for Gasser and Willis will mark the firsttime Bluewater athletes have ever been participating in the world cup circuit. "Anything can happen" says Brubaker "but we really need to look at these events for experience. There are athletes that follow this circuit all year long and our athletes are just getting there feet wet."

Pegg and Bigras will return home with Gasser after the Austrian Team Championship to continue in preparation for the 2008 National Gymnastics Championships in Calgary.

Willis and Gasser are both candidates for there respective National Teams for the upcoming World Championships to be held next year in London, England.

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