MacLennan, mix of youth and experience in Rio-bound Olympic gymnastics squad
Led by Olympic champion Rosie MacLennan, eight more athletes were nominated for Rio 2016 on Thursday in Gatineau by Gymnastics Canada.
The additions to Team Canada were revealed by Athens 2004 Olympic champion Kyle Shewfelt in front of dozens of young gymnasts from the region in attendance to see their favourite gymnasts ahead of Rio 2016.
MacLennan’s impact on gymnastics in Canada was clear to see – and hear – in the ovation she received upon her introduction. The London 2012 women’s Olympic trampoline champion won Canada’s lone gold medal at those Games, and is an unabashed hero to young gymnasts. She will be heading to her third Olympic Games after debuting at Beijing 2008.
Joining MacLennan in Olympic trampoline will be Jason Burnett, a silver medallist from Beijing. Burnett has battled injuries the last two seasons and claimed his place on the Olympic squad at the Rio test event this spring.
Leading the women’s artistic team is Ellie Black, who, on the heels of her five medal performance at the 2015 Pan Am Games, finished seventh in the all-around at the 2015 World Championships for Canada’s best ever result in the event.
Black is joined on the team by 2012 Olympian Brittany Rogers, who helped Canada to a best ever fifth place finish in the team event in London. She is returning to elite competition after representing the University of Georgia in the NCAA. Pan Am Games team member Isabela Onyshko, who finished an impressive 16th in the all-around at the 2015 Worlds, was also nominated.
Rounding out the squad are a pair of gymnasts new to the senior scene. Rose-Kaying Woo, the younger sister of Pan Am Games medallist Victoria-Kayen Woo, was the junior national all-around champion in 2014. Shallon Olsen had been the junior national all-around champion the year prior, making the two athletes both teammates and rivals for several years.
Olsen, who turns 16 on July 10, currently stands to be the youngest person on Team Canada at Rio 2016.
Scott Morgan, who won four medals at the 2014 Commonwealth Games and qualified for the eight-man floor exercise final at the 2013 World Championships, will be Canada’s lone male artistic gymnast competing at the Olympic Games in Brazil.