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Commitment Pays Off For Canada’s Gerber Sisters
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As Canada’s Mikaela Gerber prepared for this week’s Olympic test event in London, older sister and UCLA senior Aisha Gerber (pictured) told IG she wants to continue to motivate Mikaela and other younger gymnasts so they too can enjoy lengthy, fulfilling careers.

“Hopefully I have been a positive influence,” said the 21-year-old Aisha, who tied for second place on balance beam at the 2011 NCAA championships and tied for first place on uneven bars at the 2011 Pacific 10 Conference championships. “I think Mikaela has certainly looked up to me when she has a problem she’s working through. The experience I’ve had, having already been through that segment of a career, has really been helpful to her. But especially in the past few years, she has really taken her career into her own hands and has really taken off. I’m so proud of her.”

Prior to enrolling at UCLA in 2008, Aisha placed first all-around at the 2004 Canadian junior championships, first all-around title at the 2005 Elite Canada meet and first on uneven bars at the 2005 Canadian championships.

Aisha’s best international results included third place all-around at the 2006 American Cup; fourth place (tie) on floor exercise and sixth place on vault at the 2006 World Cup of Ghent, Belgium; and sixth place on vault at the 2008 Tournament of Masters, a World Cup meet in Cottbus, Germany. She won team bronze medals at the 2005 Pan American championships in Rio de Janeiro and the 2006 Pacific Alliance championships in Honolulu.

Mikaela placed second all-around at the Canadian junior championships in 2009 and 2010, and placed fifth all-around at the 2010 Elite Canada meet. She made her world championships debut last October in Tokyo, where she was Canada’s top scorer on floor exercise (24th place in qualifications). Shortly after Tokyo she placed second on floor exercise and won a team silver medal at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara.

Both Gerber sisters excel in the aesthetic aspect of the sport, especially on balance beam and floor exercise, to which Aisha attributes her parents’ influence.

“Mikaela and I both love to dance,” she said. “We get artistry from my mother and father, and have taken it into the things we love.”

Aisha said 16-year-old Mikaela’s performance in Tokyo was particularly gratifying. In Tokyo, she helped Canada finish 11th in the team standings.

“It was so great to see Mikaela’s hard work paying off, because I know how hard she’s been working,” Aisha said. “It has seemed like a long road for her, and that she hasn’t really gotten much recognition for her talent and hr consistency. She just shined in Tokyo, and I’m so proud to be her sister.”

As Aisha draws to the end of her career, she said she can offer advice not only to Mikaela but to all young gymnasts who hope to maintain their fitness and motivation levels till their 20s, as she has.

“It’s most important to continue to remember the reasons why you love gymnastics, and look at the positive things that it gives you rather than the negative things that it can also give you sometimes, such as injuries, pain and tiredness,” Aisha told IG. “If you love gymnastics, the ultimate payoff at the end is worth it.”

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