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Canada's Paterson: 'I Adjust To What The Team Needs'
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2018 Canadian all-around bronze medalist Cory Paterson is counting on his versatility and strategically constructed routines to help him earn a spot on his country’s team for the world championships in Doha this fall.

Paterson, who trains at Centre Pere Sablon in Montreal under coaches Patrick Beauchamp and Kader Mecellem, placed third all-around at last month’s Canadian championships in Waterloo, Ontario, behind gold medalist Rene Cournoyer and silver medalist Jackson Payne. He went on to place second on high bar and fifth on vault in the apparatus finals.

At the Commonwealth Games in Gold Coast, Australia, in April, Paterson tied for the silver medal on high bar with England’s James Hall, won a silver medal in the team competition and placed sixth on parallel bars. He turned 23 on May 24, and placed eighth on parallel bars at the Challenge Cup of Koper, Slovenia, held May 31-June 3.

Paterson shared his thoughts on his performances thus far in 2018, and the case he is making for himself for worlds, in this IG Online interview.

IG: How strong of a case do you feel you made for yourself through your performance in Waterloo, in terms of a reliable all-arounder and a potentially high scorer on a few specific apparatuses, to the people in charge of selecting the team for worlds?

CP: It felt great competing all-around again for the first time in years. It wasn’t my strongest day on some events but competing all six events again is a move in the right direction. Being an all-arounder and a potential high scorer of specific apparatuses significantly helps my case for the worlds team selection. I prioritize the team and adjust to whatever the team needs. It all comes down to what combination of gymnasts the selection committee feels can create the strongest team performance.

IG: Your performance in Waterloo came soon after your successes in Gold Coast. Before either meet took place, what was your plan for using Gold Coast as a build-up for Waterloo? Or did you treat them as two separate meets with distinct goals for each?

CP: For the Commonwealth Games, I had a different mindset than for Canadian championships because of the team aspect. Using my experience from the NCAA (he competed for the University of Iowa from 2014-17), I focused on consistency and reliability to push my teammates to achieve the best results for Team Canada.  If I can go on the competition floor and confidently hit all my routines, it makes it easier and takes some of the pressure off of the other guys. The goal for Canadian championships was to compete all six events in preparation for worlds trials.

IG: Third place all-around is a somewhat challenging spot because there are also several specialists vying for places on the worlds team. What is your perspective on being the No.-3 all-arounder, and what do you think you can offer to the team if you are selected for Doha?

CP: Competing all-around is a strategic move in preparation for worlds trials. If I can prove I can be used on every event, it helps with the composition of whatever team is selected. I have several strong events that can add value to the team, and it is critical to be able to be a back-up on the other events. Through my experience in the NCAA, being the back-up pushes the other team members to continually improve their execution and consistency to fight and hold onto their spots. I am also easy when it comes to choosing lineup. I can adjust to what the other team members need to help them perform their best. Whatever spot I am in the lineup, my job is to go up and hit my routines to contribute to the team score.

IG: Based on your performances thus far in 2018, and especially in Waterloo, what will you be focusing on in training, between now and Doha?

CP: In leading up to worlds trials I will be focusing on consistency and the fine details in my routines. I construct strategic routines with skills I am confident with and can perform well with minimal deduction. At the end of the day it is about the end score, and every tenth counts when contributing to the team. If I can consistently perform my routines at a high level it will benefit Canada’s performance at the world championships.

International Gymnast magazine’s recent coverage of Canadian gymnasts includes:

“Canadian Grace” - Brooklyn Moors interview (December 2017)

2017 World Championships special issue, incl. Canadians (November 2017)

Ellie Black on cover collage, 2017 Worlds preview (September 2017)

“Canadian Candor” - Ellie Black and Zachary Clay interviews (July/August 2017)

“Canadian Pace-setter” - Ana Padurariu profile (December 2016)

“Canadian on a Roll” - Jade Chrobok profile (April 2016)

Chrobok, Meixi Semple on cover inset photo and featured in 2016 Nadia International coverage (March 2016)

To subscribe to the print and/or digital editions of International Gymnast magazine, or to order back issues, click here.

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