As Canadian gymnast Madison Copiak prepares for Sunday's team final and qualifications at the Pan American Games in Toronto, she is confident that she and her teammates can perform consistently and successfully.
Born September 17 1998, in Calgary, Copiak began training at age three. She was a member of the fifth-place Canadian team at the 2014 Pan American championships, in Mississauga, and finished fourth all-around at this year's Elite Canada meet and Canadian championships.
Joining Copiak on the Canadian team in Toronto are Olympian Ellie Black, Maegan Chant, Isabela Onyshko and Victoria-Kayen Woo. None of the members of Canada's silver medal-winning team from the 2011 Games in Guadalajara is on the roster in Toronto.
Copiak shared her pre-Games thoughts with IG Online in this interview.
IG: How would you describe the mental and physical condition of the Canadian team as you head towards the start of competition?
MC: As we are heading into the start of the competition our main focus is the consistency of the routines and the execution. The physical preparation not only involves a sufficient amount of routine numbers, but it also involves cleanliness in the routines. And obviously with numbers comes better execution. As one becomes more confident with their routine they can physically and mentally handles the routine so they have the ability to focus on the small details that will help bump the overall team execution. Our mental condition as a team is dependent on being able to handle the routines, in a way that if something were to go wrong you would be able to recover by moving on, and dealing with the situation mentally. Physical and mental preparation and conditioning go hand-in-hand.
IG: What are your personal goals for the Games?
MC: My personal goal here in Toronto, is to have a meet where I'm not only hitting my routines, but to perform them to my full potential, whether that be hitting handstands and executing my routines with great lines or showing off more in artistry on beam and floor.
IG: What about your team goals?
MC: The team goals are to have a strong performance where we are confident, strong and well-prepared; hitting our routines; and having clean execution overall. Making sure we fight for every tenth we can pick up to help our overall score, and enjoying the whole ex-perience. Another important thing will being able to use the energy from the crowd and use that excitement to focus into our routines.
IG: The Canadian team includes an excellent blend of veterans and upcoming talent. In your view what makes this team particularly competitive, especially in terms of going against the U.S., Brazil and other strong teams?
MC: I think what makes this team competitive is that we have a diverse group of talented girls, all with various strong skills that contribute to the overall team. The veterans defi-nitely add experience, which can be reassuring and comforting for the younger ones on the team, me being one of them. To have Ellie (Black) and her calm but huge personality really allows for one to become more comfortable when out on the competition floor. The team has greatly increased its uneven bars difficultly in the past few years, and we are ready to show these polished routines.
IG: What last-minute changes or tweaks are you focusing on, to make yourself as ready as possible for competition?
MC: For me there should not be any huge last-minute changes prior to the Games. Yes, there will always be tweaks, as your body is not the same day in and day out, so you are always adjusting for that. For me to feel completely ready for this competition I need to be consistent with my routines and trust that I have prepared to the best of my ability. When I am calm and let my body do the skills, I have realized that I am much more successful rather than when I over-think my routines.
international Gymnast magazine's recent coverage of Canadian gymnasts includes:
"Aiming to Top the Charts" - Maegan Chant interview (October 2013)
"Canadian Promise" - Ellie Black chat and Robert Watson profile (July/August 2014)
"Canadian Diversity" - Ellie Black profile (July/August 2013)
"Black to Business" - Ellie Black interview (November 2012)
"Candid Canadians" - Madeline Gardiner and Jackson Payne interviews (Sep-tember 2011)
Chat with Christine Peng-Peng Lee (April 2015)
Christine Peng-Peng Lee interview (April 2011)
Gael Mackie profile (July/August 2011)
"Sudden Impact" - Victoria Moors interview (January/February 2013)
"Making Tracks" - Scott Morgan profile (December 2013)
Isabela Onyshko profile (July/August 2014)
Megan Roberts profile (April 2015)
"Confident Canadian" - Brittany Rogers interview (May 2012)
"Canadian Diversity" - Hugh Smith profile (July/August 2013)
"Catching up with... Lori Strong Ballard" (June 2012)
Aleeza Yu two-page photo spread (May 2014)
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