Returning to form after suffering a hand injury last fall, recent Cottbus Tournament of Masters medalist Dominique Pegg told IG she is newly optimistic about her chances of making the Canadian team for this summer's Olympic Games in London.
"My performance in Cottbus was a comeback competition from my hand injury," said Pegg, who placed third (tie) on floor exercise, fifth on vault and eighth on balance beam in Cottbus, an FIG Challenger Cup series meet held March 22-25. "I was just focusing on getting back into the competition mode and trying some new routines. The good result has given me the confidence I needed to help myself get back out there again."
Canada's Dominique Pegg at the FIG Challenger Cup in Cottbus, where she tied for the bronze medal on floor exercise
Pegg broke a bone in her right hand at the Pan American Games in Guadalajara last October, shortly after she helped the Canada team place 11th at the World Championships in Tokyo. Two weeks prior to Cottbus, she placed fourth all-around in the Senior Cup division at the Gymnix International in Montreal.
The 18-year-old Pegg is now turning her attention toward making the team for this summer's Olympic Games, taking place in July.
"I plan to contribute to the team on all four events," said Pegg, who trains under coaches Dave and Liz Brubaker at Bluewater Gymnastics Club in Sarnia, Ont. "I have been working really hard in the gym trying to upgrade all my routines. I'm confident that my hard work will pay off, and I will be able to help out my team to the best of my ability."
Pegg, the 2008 Canadian junior all-around champion, has been a steady member of the Canadian team during the current Olympic cycle. She placed third all-around at the 2009 and 2010 Canadian senior championships, and seventh all-around at 2011 the Canadian senior championships prior to her injury.
Unlike the 2010 and 2011 Worlds, where teams consisted of six gymnasts, only five gymnasts will comprise teams in London. Pegg said she plans to avoid dwelling on the fact that one fewer gymnast per team will qualify for London.
"I'm not letting the pressure of making the team get to me, because the pressure will always be there," she said. "I can't make it go away. I can only continue to focus the way I have been over the years, such as being in the best shape of my career and pushing myself to my highest level in the gym."
Pegg credits the Brubakers for helping her concentrate and encouraging her, particularly in this pressure-filled Olympic year.
"Dave and Liz have continued to give me the same solid advice as they have in the past, because they know exactly what works best for me," she said. "However, lately they remind me to let this new pressure be the motivation for my training, and to excel with it. Also, we have been working together to get me in the best physical condition of my career."
Pegg flies to Brazil on Monday for an international tournament in São Bernardo do Campo. She and Bluewater teammate Talia Chiarelli are among the gymnasts who will be competing for Canada.
Following the Olympics, Pegg has new academic and competitive goals.
"After London, I plan to return to my high school and complete my last few courses for graduation, and then I am considering an NCAA scholarship in the (United) States," she told IG. "There is also a possibility that I may compete at another world championships."