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Masela Motivated by Training Trip to Canada
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A recent training camp in Canada has helped motivated Dutch gymnast Wyomi Masela following her Olympic disappointment in 2012, she told IG. Masela, 19, is now gunning for the 2013 Worlds and 2016 Olympics.

A recent training camp in Canada has helped motivated Dutch gymnast Wyomi Masela following her Olympic disappointment in 2012, she told IG.

"I want to forget 2012 and make a fresh new start," she said. "I'm excited to do that!"

Masela, 19, recently returned to the Netherlands after three weeks training at the Bluewater Gymnastics Club in Sarnia, Ont. The trip was organized by the Dutch Gymnastics Federation (KNGU), which wanted to do something to help Masela after the much-publicized selection debacle prior to the 2012 Olympics in London.

In February 2012, the KNGU named Masela as the Dutch women's sole representative to the Olympic Games in London. Teammate Céline van Gerner, who had missed the second Olympic qualification meet in January with an injury, filed suit. A Dutch judge ruled in her favor, stating the federation should wait until closer to the Olympics to nominate a gymnast. Eventually the KNGU selected van Gerner, who went on to compete in London instead of Masela.

"After the Olympics the federation wanted to do something for me," Masela explained.

Masela traveled to Canada from April 29-May 19, training with husband-and-wife coaching team Dave and Liz Brubaker, who coach Canadian Olympian Dominique Pegg.


Wyomi Masela with Canadian Olympian Dominique Pegg

"My goals were to get my routines back and get motivated again for the new cycle to Rio 2016," she said. "That worked out! I had a really good time. I've learned a lot and did indeed learn some new skills."

Brubaker also deemed the visit a success.

"She was able to perform a variety of vaults with her main competitive vault being the Yurchenko double twist," he told IG. "She was also able to upgrade her second vault. The environment here was very conducive to allow her to develop this. She was also ready to incorporate some new elements to her bars routine. By the end of her time here she was able to successfully incorporate those. She also acquired a new floor routine, which was a collaboration between my wife and Serena Bono Hutchins from Mississauga. They are both excellent choreographers and Wyomi was very pleased with her routine."

Masela maintained a blog of her trip and communicated often with Vincent Weavers, her personal coach in the Netherlands.

"I texted him almost every day about how my day was," she said.

Masela said she is almost fully recovered from a mysterious foot injury sustained in September. She underwent three MRI scans, which were inconclusive.

"It was difficult to train while I still had so much pain in my left foot," she said. "But it's getting better and better now. Sometimes I thought maybe it was because I jumped too much before the Olympics. But I still don't know where it came from."

In addition to training time at Bluewater, Masela was able to enjoy some time as a tourist.

"Wyomi has seen a lot of Canada in the short time!" Brubaker said. "Niagara Falls, Ontario's west coast, as well as day trips to the USA from Sarnia. It was the perfect blend of hard work, development, rest and relaxation. I think Wyomi really enjoyed her trip, and she was smiling ear-to-ear until we had to put her on the plane. Wyomi also became a fan of the Toronto Maple Leafs. She was exposed to hockey on a daily basis. After crossing the Bluewater International bridge and flying into Sarnia, she now understands why Bluewater Gymnastics has its name. The water colour in the southern part of the lake is very similar to the French Riviera."

Masela is now gunning for this year's world championships in Antwerp and the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro.

"My goals are to make the world team and I hope I can make the vault final," said Masela, whose older sister, Tahnee Masela, was also on the Dutch national team. "Also I want to do a totally new all-around program to improve myself from the rest. It's gonna be a hard year but I'm ready for it!"

Said Brubaker, "We were very pleased to have been selected to host such a great gymnast. She was an excellent role model for other athletes along with Dominique Pegg whom she trained with. They got along famously and look forward to seeing each other in Rio."

External Link: Wyomi Masela's Official Website

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