Homegrown Olympian, Kyle Shewfelt, recognizes community support


(ISN) – CALGARY— In celebration of the one-year anniversary of the opening of Kyle Shewfelt Gymnastics, the hometown Olympic champion has put his regular programming on hold for a week of drop-in classes as a thank-you to the city that continues to support his dream.

“I’m not sure what’s more difficult – training for the Olympics, or launching your own gymnastics centre,” joked Shewfelt, who became a Canadian household name with a stunning performance in the floor exercise that earned him Olympic gold in Athens in 2004. “Being here today, celebrating the first year of Kyle Shewfelt Gymnastics, and seeing the smiling faces from all walks of life that come through our doors every week is what reassures me I truly have achieved another dream.”

After retiring from competition, that new dream was to build Calgary’s premier non-competitive gymnastics centre where everyone – from six-month-old diaper daredevils to adults to Olympic athletes themselves – could reap the benefits of physical activity and gymnastics in a fun, supportive environment. In just its first year since officially opening its doors, Kyle Shewfelt Gymnastics has already impacted more than 2500 individuals from around the city through its registered programs, drop-in classes, birthday parties and special events.

“I dedicated a large portion of my life to gymnastics. It’s a sport I love, and one I’ve come to understand can be beneficial to people of all ages and abilities,” added Shewfelt. “My goal was to create a fun, safe place where I could introduce my sport to all Calgarians. This week, we are celebrating our anniversary by saying thank-you to our supporters across the city with three days of drop-in classes, where we can all shake off those early winter blahs with some fun and healthy physical activity in the warmth of the gym. It’s a great chance for those who are thinking about trying gymnastics for the first time to come and give it a shot too.”

Celebration drop-in classes take place Wednesday, November 12th from 5-8 p.m. for all ages, and 8–9:30 p.m. for adults; Thursday, November 13th from 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. for preschoolers aged 6-and-under, with all-ages sessions 1:30– 3:30 p.m. and 5–8 p.m.; and Friday, November 14th from 9:30 a.m. – 12 p.m. for ages 6-and-under, and 1:30-3:30 p.m. for ages 12-and-under. Drop-in rates are $5 for members, and $10 for non-members.

One Calgarian who is taking advantage of this week’s activities is three-time Olympian and mother of two preschoolers, Regan Lauscher.

“As a luge athlete, I always knew the benefit gymnastics has on all of us – from a young child to a mother looking for a solid workout to a high-performance athlete in any sport,” said Lauscher. “You see the kid’s confidence and balance develop right before your eyes – and for them, it’s just all play, all fun and that’s the way it should be.

“It’s important for me to keep up a certain level of fitness – not just for my personal health, but as an example for my kids. Kyle’s coaching team has put us adults through the paces as well – it’s fun, but it’s hard work too. I don’t come from a gymnastics background, and you don’t have to be an Olympian to benefit from the adult programs. You just need to be willing to try, and of course, to have fun.”

For information on programs, registration, and drop-in classes, please visit kyleshewfeltgymnastics.com or call 587.349.2004.