Barrie Today/ text: Ülle Träss
Carmel Kallemaa of Barrie won the individual All-Around Bronze medal for rhythmic gymnastics at the recent Pan American Championships. The competition took place on July 7-9, 2022 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. Kallemaa is the first Canadian gymnast to win a medal in the All-Around competition. With her hoop, ball, clubs and ribbon routines she earned a total of 113.6 points.
First place went to Evita Griskenas of USA with 115.8 points. Griskenas also competed at the Tokyo Olympics where she was awarded 12th place in All-Around. The silver medal was won by Brazilian gymnast Geovanna Santos who earned 12th place at the Tokyo Olympics in the team competition.
The Pan Am Championships in rhythmic gymnastics took place at Carioca Hall in the Barra da Tijuca Olympic Park where the 2016 Olympics Basketball events were held. A total of 44 rhythmic gymnasts from Argentina, Bolivia, Brasil, Canada, Chili, Columbia, Costa Rica, Cuba, El Salvador, United States of America, Guatemala, Mexico, Peru, Puerto Rico and Venezuela took part in the All-Around competition.
When asked about her experience in Rio, Carmel replied, “I am extremely grateful to have had the opportunity to represent Canada in Rio de Janeiro, at the Pan American Championships. The competition was a great success for me and Canada! I received lots of positive feedback and I am very excited to get back in the gym and start working for the next competitions.”
Carmel Kallemaa came home with a total of three bronze medals, winning an additional two medals in the team competition and the clubs finals. Kallemaa trains at the Glimmer Athletic Club and is coached by her mother, World Champion Janika Molder, who founded the club in 2014. In addition to a busy training schedule and her postsecondary studies, this talented 24-year-old Canadian gymnast finds time to coach younger gymnasts at the club. Kallemaa, who was born in and received her initial training in Estonia, is currently preparing for the Commonwealth Games which will take place on August 4-6, 2022 in Birmingham, England.