Vernon rhythmic gymnast Megan Hamilton boosted Canada to a bronze medal at the Pan Am Championships in Merida, Mexico.
Hamilton, a Grade 12 student at VSS, was accompanied by Okanagan coach Tammy Andreotti. Hamilton, Erica Bernard of Vancouver and Athena Tsaltas of Toronto combined for third place in the team event.
Hamilton was in Mexico as a senior individual and she unprecedentedly qualified for three event finals. She has been a member of the Okanagan Rhythmic Gymnastics club since 2005 and of the Canadian national team since 2014.
It was an exciting event drawing more than 70 of the best athletes from North, Central and South America.
The senior event was dominated by one of Rio’s recent Olympic stars, Natalia Gaudio (Brazil), and also by home-nation favorite Karla Diaz.
“It was a big challenge because it was all of a sudden so I came to this event knowing that it would be tough to be at my best,” said Hamilton. “I was aiming for excellence rather than perfection. I’m really proud that I got to share my gymnastics and my routines at such a big event and so honoured that I got the opportunity. Being a Pan Am finalist and medallist feels like a reward for everything I’ve pushed through and all my years of work”
Said Okanagan head coach Camille Martens: “When some of Canada’s top few seniors decided to forgo this event to give themselves more time to prepare for new rules being introduced in January, a door of opportunity opened for Megan. In typical fashion, she jumped at the possibility and despite a short preparation time was able to both rise to the challenge and to embrace it. This athlete continually amazes me.”
Hamilton finished seventh in All-Around, sixth in hoops, eighth in ball, seventh in clubs and sixth in ribbon at the nationals in Winnipeg earlier this season.