The largest and longest version yet of the Christy Fraser Memorial Invitational gymnastics competition wrapped up four days of competition on Sunday, Feb. 5 at the Langley Events Centre fieldhouse.
It has been 30 years since the Langley Gymnastics Foundation (LGF) began holding an annual event to honour the memory of the young athlete who passed away in August of 1992 at the age of 12, after contracting E. Coli.
When it began, about 170 athletes took part in the Langley Secondary School gymnasium.
Over the years, both the event and the club have grown, with this year seeing more than 1,000 competing over four days from Thursday, Feb. 2, to Sunday, Feb. 5 at the Langley Events Centre field house.
LGF has become the largest gymnastics club in BC, and has launched a community outreach fund, with $1 from each spectator admission going towards providing free gymnastics programs to kids with fewer opportunities to participate in after-school sports.
This year, like every year, Christy’s mom, Lory, with the help of Christy’s friend Julie Gilfillan, selected athletes who best exemplified the can-do spirit of her daughter — supportive, determined and displaying a positive attitude.
This year, Fraser handed out 27 trophies, the most ever.
One very young gymnast hesitated when she was invited to take the top of the podium for one of those trophies.
She’d won a medal, but not gold.
“She said, ‘I’m confused. I never did the best,’” Fraser told the Langley Advance Times.
“I told her, ‘you don’t have to do the best.’”
When Fraser explained she was being recognized for her attitude, the gymnast relaxed.
It was a gruelling marathon for Fraser, who this year wore tensor socks to keep her feet from swelling while she put in considerable mileage observing the competitors.
She rated the event a “great” success, saying “as far as the kids were concerned, I think they all had a good time.”
More photos from the event can be read online at the Langley Advance Times Facebook page.
READ ALSO: Christy Fraser Memorial Invitational marks 30th anniversary in Langley
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