Heading into this week’s Elite Canada meet, 2013 Canadian national all-around champion Hugh Smith told IG that he plans to use the competition to test some upgraded routines and re-establish himself on his national squad.
“Typically this time of year I'm not in top routine shape, but this year I have been preparing my routines more, and I feel more prepared and confident going into Elite Canada,” said Smith (shown here at the 2013 Canadian Championships). “I would like to maintain my status in the Canadian team.”
Smith said he wants to show steady routines, including some new skills, at Elite Canada taking place Feb. 6-9 in Gatineau, Quebec. Doing so will demonstrate Smith’s value to the team for major international meets in 2014, he said.
“With many events coming up this year, my major goal for Elite Canada will be to show that I can be used to help the team in the upcoming events like the Commonwealth Games, Pan American championships and world championships.”
At the 2013 Elite Canada meet, held in February, Loran Anderson won the all-around title ahead of silver medalist Ken Ikeda and bronze medalist Zachary Clay. Smith tied for sixth place.
“Last year my preparation for Elite Canada was not in the all-around,” Smith said. “Although I did compete on all events, I was focused on doing harder routines on floor and vault.”
Since winning the all-around title at the Canadian championships last May, Smith has been hard at work, in and out of the gym.
“I've been training steadily, continuing to do lots of hot yoga and trying to stay in as best shape possible to prevent injury and keep getting stronger,” said Smith, who will turn 30 on March 14.
Smith is equally busy running Olympic Gymnastics Academy, the recreational club he co-founded in Windsor, Nova Scotia. Until recently the club was known as Windsor Gymnastics.
“It is always still a challenge to balance everything, but my wife and I recently made many positive changes to help us focus on our priorities,” Smith said. “That's another thing. This time last year I probably had at least 10 more responsibilities than I do now. I had to cut many things out and focus more on training and building my club.”
Despite Smith’s professional duties, he remains focused on his competitive ambitions for 2014.
“My goals for this year are to help Canada at worlds and continue to increase my Start Values in the all-around,” he told IG. “The Pan American championships and Commonwealth Games are also on the radar. ‘2014 Canadian champion’ also sounds nice.”
International Gymnast magazine's recent features on Canadian gymnasts include:
"Canadian Diversity" – Hugh Smith and Ellie Black profiles (July/August 2013)
Scott Morgan profile (December 2013)
"Sudden Impact" - Victoria Moors interview (January/February 2013)
"Black to Business" - Ellie Black interview (November 2012)
"Aiming to Top the Charts" - Maegan Chant interview (October 2013)
"Candid Canadians" – Madeline Gardiner and Jackson Payne interviews (September 2011)
Leah Homma update (January/February 2014)
Christine Peng-Peng Lee interview (April 2011)
Gael Mackie profile (July/August 2011)
"Confident Canadian" - Brittany Rogers interview (May 2012)
"Catching up with Lori Strong Ballard" (June 2012)
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