While it may seem like old hat, winning the gold medal year after year, it is just as exhilarating winning a fourth time as it was that first year.
That is according to Langley’s Tracy James, who keeps adding to her gold medal collection.
The 26-year-old helped Team Canada win gold at the International Cheer Union (ICU) world cheerleading championships in Orlando, Fla.
The competition was April 27.
James was competing in the co-ed elite category as Canada was up against 15 other countries.
New Zealand and Chile rounded out the top three.
“It was such an amazing experience,” James said, adding that the support the Canadian team received helped make a big difference.
“It was so incredible to walk out on the world stage and see the stands filled with proud Canadian supporters all wearing red and screaming for our team.
“The feeling of winning gold is just as exhilarating every year.
“You put so much into every routine and the competition gets harder every year so when Canada is called up for the gold, you can’t help but feel an overwhelming sense of accomplishment.”
James was one of just five returning veterans who have been on the 24-person squad since the first year. The team has eight females and 16 males, made up of athletes from across Canada.
“Our success comes from countless hours of practice before and during our training camp,” James said.
“Everyone trains harder every year because we know it is not an easy task to stay on top, especially while other countries continue to improve and push the limits of the sport.”
Tryouts were held at the beginning of February, with the team named within a few weeks.
The team members reconvened in Toronto on April 18 and trained six or seven hours a day for the next week, all in preparation of a two and a half minute routine.
James, who during her competitive days was a member of the Langley Gymnastics Foundation before turning to coaching, has returned to gymnastics after a year hiatus spent working on the cheerleading TV show Hellcats as a stunt double.
James, who still lives in Langley, is now coaching at Cloverdale’s Splitz Gymnastics, while also completing her bachelor of business administration, majoring in human resources, at Kwantlen Polytechnic University.