At yesterday’s Pan American Games, Canadian Mikaela Gerber was the last athlete to perform in the women’s gymnastics floor final and the final female gymnast to compete at the Games. She won silver in the floor final in addition to silver with the Canadian team. I haven’t been able to find a video of her event final performance but this her routine from the team competition.
This routine immediately reminded me of Soviet Olga Strazheva‘s optional floor routine from the 1989 World Championships. Both athletes used the same music from “Rite of Spring” and both have well-executed avant-garde choreography.
With unique and strong movements that perfectly express the tone and emotion of the music, Gerber’s routine stood out among the lackluster performances from other athletes. Like Strazheva, Dudnik and other members of that Soviet team, Gerber has the poise and confidence to pull off this style of dance. At a time when gymnasts commonly disregard the artistic namesake of the discipline, it is refreshing and exciting to see a young athlete exemplify the meaning of artistic gymnastics.
Best of luck to Mikaela in her future competitions!
Photo: Grace Chiu