Angelina Polegato not only commands a stir walking onto the gymnastics floor, she is a compact dynamo of unbelievable talent, and she can grab your heart and squeeze it with those huge brown eyes . . . but don't let them fool you. Angelina has competition in her soul . . . and she dreams of representing Canada at the 2024 Olympics in Paris . . .
Saturday, Apr. 28th - A ten-year-old South Dundas gymnast stole the Florida Crown Championships gymnastics show at Boca Raton, Florida on the weekend, scoring a First Place Overall finish. In fact, this barely 1.295 metre, 24.04 kilogram dynamo from Williamsburg, Angelina Polegato, recorded her three all-time highest scores while competing in a Level 7, Open Age competition. Angelina nailed 9.6 in the Vault, a 9.55 on the Beam, and a 9.8 on the Floor, finishing first over-all with a 37.600 combined score and the crown jewels from the event.
Gymnastic competition Levels 6 thru 10 allow the participant to add artistic elements to their routine that not only enhance ability, but also highlight performance and the compulsory elements of that particular Level. Competition Levels 1 thru 5 are comprised of a set number of compulsory elements in a routine.
As a gymnast’s career moves up on the Level’s scale the numbers of competitive participants traditionally decreases which is due to a several factors. Time, cost and travel commitments possibly being the top three.
Gymnastics as a demand sport, is little different than other sports or careers. Many families invest extensive time and money in their offspring’s pursuit of an activity, whatever it may be, most of which is returned ten-fold in quality family time and a life-long, tight family relationship.
It is fair to report here that the young gymnasts we’ve highlighted in the past few weeks, and who’s parents we have witnessed at meets with them, enjoy a visibly special, very loving and very respectful Mother/Daughter relationship that is truly heart-warming to see.
Angelina’s Mom, Corlena Patterson admits to a travelling average of 40,000 kilometres a season and somewhere in the $10,000 range for costs. Those numbers additionally demand travel time and 23 hours over five days, every week (soon to increase), for the majority of the year.
There are 24 Level 7 gymnasts, aged 9 and 10 in Ontario. Only 1 of the same age in the Level 8 program. And as many as 50 athlete's are in Level 10, none of who are in Angelina's age group.
Gymnasts graduatiing to the highest level of the competitive side of the sport, “Elite”, are watched closely by scouts and associations representing the Canadian National Team(s). Top performers are invited to try-out for the Novice (11-13 years), Junior (13-15 years) or Senior entries, and may be placed on teams to take part in competitions on the world stage. If thosecompetitors qualify, they may be provided an opportunity on, or at least pointed in, the direction of the Canadian Olympic Team.
To date Angelina Polegato has been invited to attend the Talent Identification Camps, where she did meet Canadian Olympian Shallon Olsen who in 2016 was the youngest Canadian ever to compete in the Olympics (gymnastics) at 16 years of age.
“We were best friends for a week!” Angelina boasts around a huge smile, adding, “We talk all the time on Instagram.”
Angelina Polegato is 10 years old, a Grade 4 student at St. Mary St. Cecilia Separate School in Morrisburg, and she’s been chasing gymnastics for the past five years. Angelina started at Brockville’s Gymnastics Academy and after a few years made her current home club in Ottawa's Kanata Gymnosphere. In recent competitions South Dundas’ Angelina Polegato has picked off 2nd Overall at Orleans; 2nd Overall at Ottawa; 1st Overall at Woodbridge; 10th in the Provincial Championships at Amherstberg; and most recently, 1st Overall at the International event in Florida.
Myers Manotick Dodge honored Angelina in the past month as the Myers Amazing Kid of the Week, and presented her a cash award on the CTV evening news. Asked by the news director her intentions as to gymnastics in her future, Angelina answered without hesitation, “Paris 2024 Olympics!”
This young lady is an ‘A’ student, she is active at her school and she is dedicated to the activity of her choice. So much so that she leaves school early on a daily basis, completing her studies on the trip back and forth from Ottawa. She is stacked full of self confidence, polite and remarkably well spoken. Even articulate.
Angelina Polegato is very, very talented. And fortunately for the rest of us, she is, we can boast, an International Champion from South Dundas.
Angelina arranges her current medal winnings for this photo, the top red and white group from her most recent victory in Florida . . .
Monday, Mar. 4th - Angelina Polegato told us two years ago she dreams of competing in the 2024 Olympics with the Canadian Gymnastics team. And this 11-year old talent hasn't changed her mind. Angelina's idol is Simone Biles, the American Olympic Gold Medalist. And this past February young Angelina met Ms. Biles at the Simone Biles 2019 Invitational in Texas. Angelina Polegato was there to compete and she returned with a bag full of medals.
On meeting Ms. Biles, "It was cool!" Polegato said on Sunday evening this week, immediately after finishing a competition at the Ottawa Gymnastics Centre, "But I can't remember what I was thinking about."
At the Biles competition in the Houston suburb of Spring, Texas, Angelina posted a 4th-place 8.80 on the Vault; a 3rd-place (tie) 9.325 on the Beam; a 5th-place 9.100 on the Floor; and a 1st-place 9.575 on Bars. Angelina's total score 0f 36.8 was good for a remarkable 2nd-place Overall finish. Followed by a face-to-face congratulations from the one and only Simone Biles. That kind of excitement could make anyone have a tough time remembering what they were thinking about.
Angelina remains committed she can top even that excitement in 2024. So far, we know she makes South Dundas very proud that she calls our community home.