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Stefani strikes gold at 2016 BC Winter Games

By Contributor
March 2nd, 2016

Nelson’s Brianne Stefani struck gold at the 2016 BC Winter Games this past weekend in Penticton.

Stefani, 11, captured the gold medal on the gymnastics floor event during the provincial competition.

On day one of the gymnastics event, the Glacier Gymnastics Club gymnast placed 11th overall in the Level 7 category and qualified for the floor event finals in second place and the beam event finals in third place.

“The point spreads between first and fourth was two tenths of a point in both events,” said Stefani’s coach, Sandra Long.

“We knew going into the finals that Brianne’s routines would need to be close to perfect in order to get on the podium.”

Unfortunately, Stefani had a couple of small wobbles and a step during the beam event finals, which dropped her into fourth place. 

“Beam is a highly stressful event, no one had a perfect performance in finals, including Brianne,” said Long.

Nelson’s Glacier Gymanstics Club’s members are still very proud of Stefani’s beam performance which missed securing the bronze medal by two tenths.

“One less wobble and the results would have been in Brianne’s favour,” said Long.

The disappointment of the beam final results helped pump Stefani up for the floor event final.

“I was so close,” said Stefani.

“It made me want to perform my best floor routine. We had to wait two hours for the floor final,” added Stefani. “It was torture. I just wanted to get out there and tumble.”

The floor event final had the audience on the edge of their seats, with all 12 participants performing personal best routines. Stefani was the sixth gymnast to perform.

Going into her routine the highest score was 9.6 out of 10. She performed a high back layout in her first tumbling pass to a perfect stick, in her second tumbling pass she fought hard not to take a step.

“It was obvious that Brianne had a goal of locking up a top three finish at the Games,” said Long.

“She fought for every landing and performed all of her skills with maximum amplitude.”

Long said Stefani is also very expressive and a beautiful dancer which contributed to the artistry score.

Stefani’s routine earned a 9.6, which put her in a tie for first, with six gymnasts yet to perform. One other gymnast also scored a 9.6, making a three way tie for the gold medal.

“It was wonderful to see all three girls up on the podium to receive the gold medal,” said Long.

“They all had near perfect performances and they all deserved to be up there.”

Stefani is already planning to attend the next BC Winter Games in two years.  She will need to move up into the Level 8 category in order to compete at the next Games.

“I am already planning out my routines for the next Winter Games,” said Stefani. “I’m excited get back into the gym and start working on new Level 8 skills.”

Stefani will start adding new more advanced skills into her routines for the BC Provincial Championships which takes place April 15-17 in Langley.

Long said that they will use the Provincials as a stepping stone into Level 8.

“Brianne is a very motivated and hardworking gymnast,” said Long. “I’m confident that she will be able to achieve any future goals that she sets for herself.”

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