Close to 1,100 athletes from 27 gymnastics clubs took part in the annual Christy Fraser Memorial Invitational meet at the Langley Events Centre over the Family Day weekend.
The event honours the memory of Christy, who passed away in August of 1992 at the age of 12.
Her mom, Lory Fraser, called it an “amazing” weekend.
“This is the most kids we’ve had, and the most clubs,” Fraser observed, describing the event as a “do-over” from the virtual meet that had to be held last year during the height of the pandemic.
Among the athletes were about 90 elite gymnasts who had qualified for the B.C. Winter Games, but didn’t have a chance to compete because the games were called off.
“[We were] so happy to be doing this live and in-person,” Fraser commented.
Fraser, and her daughter’s friend, Julie Gilfillan, handed out 17 trophies to athletes chosen because they embodied the same qualities of her daughter – supportive, determined and displaying a positive attitude.
Two boys and two girls from the Langley Gymnastics Foundation were among the 17: Olivia Simao, Kayden Sorge, London O’Reilly and Jaxon Fung.
READ ALSO: A return to in-person competition for gymnasts at Langley’s Christy Fraser Memorial Invitational meet
For some of the younger competitors, who were unable to compete in-person during the pandemic, it was their first experience of a major meet, Fraser recounted.
“They were really keen to get out there.”
It wasn’t clear, until about a week before the event, how many people would be allowed to attend under COVID-19 restrictions, Fraser shared.
“I was on the edge of my seat all week. Then, [Provincial Health Officer] Dr. Bonnie Henry opened it up so we were able to have more people.”
Running from Friday, Feb. 18 through until Sunday Feb. 20, the event operated under COVID-19 restrictions, including a requirement that all who attended had to be fully vaccinated and wear masks, except for athletes when they were competing.
The event was also a fundraiser for Pink Shirt Day, with a portion of each attendance fee going to support anti-bullying initiatives.
“Everything in the gym was pink,” Fraser remarked.
READ ALSO: Langley Gymnastics Foundation hosts first out-of-club competition since pandemic hit
It was the second in-person meet to be hosted by the Langley Gymnastics Foundation since the pandemic, following their December 2021 meet that drew about 360 athletes from Whistler to Chilliwack – Zones 3, 4, and 5 – to take part in the 2021 Langley Invitational and B.C. Games Trials .
Next year will mark the 30th anniversary of the Christy Fraser Memorial.
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