IG Online continues its annual tradition of holiday-themed features on gymnasts from around the world as they reflect on 2012 and prepare for 2013. In today's spotlight: Canadian gymnast Kaitlyn Hofland, who won the bronze medal on balance beam at this month's World Cup in Glasgow.
Kaitlyn Hofland (Canada)
"The competition was an amazing experience and certainly gave me confidence for the new season," said Hofland, who also placed seventh on vault, tied for seventh on floor exercise, and placed eighth all-around and on uneven bars in Glasgow. "It made me realize that my skill level on some of events, bars and beam, is where it needs to be in order to compete internationally. The way I handled my routines on each event under the pressure created by the big names also gives me confidence because I know that ability will continue to improve with practice."
Born March 28, 1996, in Brampton, Ont., Hofland trains at Futures Gymnastics in Mississauga, Ont. Her coaches are Lisa Cowan (balance beam and floor exercise), Lawson Hamer (vault, uneven bars and floor exercise) and Lorne Bobkin (vault uneven bars and floor exercise).
Earlier this year Hofland placed fifth all-around at the Elite Canada competition in February, second all-around in the Senior Cup division at the Gymnix International in Montreal in March, and 12th all-around in the Master division at the Elite Gym Massilia competition in Marseille, France, in November.
Hofland said she was pleased with her ability to quickly regroup in Glasgow after she fell from uneven bars when she mistimed a pirouette to release combination.
"I was quite excited before bars because I knew it is a strong event for me if I hit, and I was not doubting that I could hit, so the fall certainly caught me off guard," she said. "As frustrating as the fall was, beam was next and I knew it was an opportunity for redemption. I used my frustration from bars to motivate me instead of negatively impacting the rest of my meet."
Hofland said her experience in Glasgow should help her as she tries to earn a spot on the Canadian team for next year's World Championships in Antwerp and other competitions.
"I need to use what I learned about my competitive ability in Glasgow to help me handle pressure at upcoming meets, as well as an increased difficulty on floor and vault, which is already in the works," she said.
The holiday season will be eventful but relaxing for the Hofland family in their Georgetown, Ont., residence, she said.
"My family is usually very busy so the holidays will be a nice chance to spend some quality time together at home," she said. "One of my favorite family traditions at Christmastime is going to see the National Ballet of Canada's production of The Nutcracker."
Hofland is clear on her goals for 2013.
"My New Year's resolution outside the gym is to find time to get my driver's license!" she told IG. "Inside the gym I intend to increase my difficulty on floor and improve my consistency in competition."