1000 athletes to join Olympic Gymnastic Champ at third annual Kyle Shewfelt Gymnastics Festival in Calgary


March 8, 2013, Calgary, AB (ISN) – Canada’s first and only Olympic gold medallist in Artistic Gymnastics, Kyle Shewfelt, will build on a successful foundation to bring his world-unique Kyle Shewfelt Gymnastics Festival to new heights in Calgary.

Launched in 2011 in partnership with the University of Calgary Gymnastics Club, the one-of-a-kind weekend gymnastics festival will showcase the sport at its best from the grassroots to elite level, March 14-17, 2013 at the University of Calgary’s Jack Simpson Gymnasium.

Developed in support of Right to Play, the third-annual event will consist of nearly 1000 athletes aged six to twenty-eight performing in categories ranging from recreational gymnaestrada to international elite.

“Calgarians played such a critical role in making this Festival an overwhelming success in years past, and we are looking to make year three even better by creating a memorable opportunity for the next generation of gymnasts”, said Shewfelt. “My goal with the event is to provide an innovative and entertaining atmosphere for athletes, coaches, judges, volunteers and fans alike. This is an opportunity for all levels of gymnastics to be represented, and I wanted everyone involved to feel inspired!”

“The feedback we’ve received has been overwhelmingly positive. The sessions run fast. The environment is engaging and energetic, and nearly every athlete and parent who participates leaves feeling like they just had the best gymnastics experience of their life.”

The 2013 edition of the Festival will feature men’s and women’s artistic competition, an international men’s team competition, and various demonstrations taking place over the course of the weekend.

Friday night’s men’s competition will be an important international meet. Four Canadian Juniors will face off against four American Juniors and four Canadian Seniors will test their mettle against four American Seniors. The evening will also feature more than 40 Open and Senior level women fighting for spots in Saturday’s Big Show Final.

The top-four Senior men, Junior men, Senior women and Open women on each apparatus from Friday’s qualification will advance to the marquee event, the Big Show Finals, held on Saturday night. Hosted by Kyle Shewfelt himself, the top athletes on all apparatus’ will compete in front of a packed house.

The Saturday night spectacle adds a new twist to the traditional gymnastics competition by adding high-energy music, lots of crowd participation, cheerleading, dance, prizes, games, raffles and so much more.

“The Big Show Final injects new energy into the traditional gymnastics competition with a unique and energizing format for spectators and athletes to enjoy,” said Shewfelt. “Athletes feel like rock stars and people in the stands are fully engaged in the excitement while seeing the sport at its best in Canada. It promises to be another entertaining show!”

Competition takes place each day from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m. Doors for the Big Show Finals on Saturday night open at 6 p.m., and competition gets underway at 6:45 p.m. Tickets for all sessions can be purchased cash only at the door of the Jack Simpson Gym, and will range from $5-15. Children five and under are free. Family and three-day passes are also available. All University of Calgary students will receive free entrance with their student ID and a portion of event proceeds will be shared with Right To Play.

“I am thrilled that our team has brought the Festival back for another year,” said Shewfelt, who is also a Right To Play Ambassador. “This is a way to create a legacy, and tie in our charity of choice with Right to Play to make a difference. Over the past two years, we’ve raised $15,000 for the organization and we are excited that a portion of the proceeds will go to them once again. I am proud that we have been able to grow the Festival into the largest and most talked about international gymnastics competition in Canada.”

Kyle Shewfelt is Canada’s most successful gymnast in history. As a three-time Olympian, Olympic Champion and 2010 inductee into Canada’s Sports Hall of Fame, Shewfelt is now considered a legend in the sport. The Calgarian, who worked his way from the Altadore Gymnastics Club to the top of the Olympic podium, retired from competition following his third Olympic Games in 2008. After retiring, Shewfelt has stayed very active in the gymnastics world as an ambassador for Gymnastics Canada, a mentor for the national teams and a television commentator. Shewfelt is excited to continue building a legacy with the third annual Kyle Shewfelt Gymnastics Festival.

Highlights of the 2012 event can be viewed at: http://youtu.be/gcxpO7srwj4

Media passes can be attained by contacting ksgfinfo@gmail.com

For more information on the inaugural Kyle Shewfelt Gymnastics Festival, please visit us at www.kyleshewfeltgymfest.com on the Internet.