Barrie Today. Ülle Träss
Carmel Kallemaa, won a gold medal in the rhythmic gymnastics team competition at the recent Commonwealth Games in Birmingham, England. She went on to win an additional three medals in the individual finals, silver in clubs and bronze in both ribbon and hoop.
The 24-year-old rhythmic gymnast competed as part of Team Canada at the Commonwealth Games which took place in Birmingham, England on July 28th to August 8th, 2022.
Carmel Kallemaa, along with rhythmic gymnastics team members Tatiana Cocsanova and Suzanna Shahbazian won gold in the team competition with a total score of 272.95 points, placing them ahead of silver-medallist Australia (268.65) and bronze medalist England (267.05).
After winning the team event Kallemaa said “The feeling I think [will be] hard to describe for the next few days until I get home and it actually kicks in that I’m a Commonwealth champion. So, I think the feeling is going to come a bit later. Right now, it’s all just so unbelievable.”
Carmel Kallemaa, in addition to winning a gold in the rhythmic gymnastics team event on August 4th, also won a silver in the individual clubs final on August 6th and an additional two bronze medals on the same day in the individual ribbon and hoop finals.
Kallemaa says that “It was just my dream to make it to this competition. At first, I didn’t even dream about finals. I was just thinking I wanted to make it there.”
“I made it there and was hoping to at least make one final. To make three finals and one medal in each event, it’s just unbelievable. It’s one of the best days of my life so far for sure”.
When asked about the overall competition conditions in Birmingham, Kallemaa responded that “the competition was just great”. “There was a packed house at all the events and the audience was very supportive of all the competitors and really participated wholeheartedly.” Kallemaa also really enjoyed staying at the athlete’s village where she said that “it was possible to meet athletes from all of the different sport disciplines”.
A total of 72 Commonwealth Nations and 5,054 athletes participated in 280 events in 20 sports at the 2022 Commonwealth Games. The rhythmic gymnastics competition hall, Utilita Arena Birmingham, was packed with people for the events. 15800 spectators were powerfully supporting each athlete! What a spirit!
In the final medals count, Canada placed third with 26 Gold medals, 32 silver medals and 34 Bronze medals, behind Australia which placed first with a total of 178 medals and England which placed second with a total of 176 medals.
The Commonwealth is home to 74 nations & territories and 2.2 billion citizens, representing about 30% of the world’s population. It is the oldest political association of sovereign states. Canada takes pride in its membership in the Commonwealth of Nations, as well as its cultural and historical ties to Britain.
The first Commonwealth Games were held in 1930, and, with the exception of 1942 and 1946, have taken place every four years since then.
Canada is the birthplace of the Commonwealth Games, having hosted the first ever Games in Hamilton in 1930, which were then known as the British Empire Games. Canada has hosted the Commonwealth Games four times to date – Hamilton (1930), Vancouver (1954), Edmonton (1978) and Victoria (1994). The 2026 Commonwealth Games will take place in Australia. And in 2030, the Commonwealth Games are set to return to Hamilton, the Canadian city that was the birthplace of the multi-sport event 100 years earlier!
For many athletes, the Commonwealth Games are a preparatory event for qualification to the Olympic Games.
Carmel Kallemaa’s next competition will be the Rhythmic Gymnastics World Championships in Sofia, Bulgaria on September 14-18, 2022. Asked about her plans for the future, Kallemaa responds, “I will continue to train and improve my routines”. “I want to be a role model for younger gymnasts and show them that if there is a real will and desire it is possible to successfully combine training and studies, even at the University or College level, regardless of age.”Kallemaa was born in Estonia and moved to Canada with her family at the age of 15. She trains under the direction of her mother, coach and world champion rhythmic gymnast Janika Mölder, at the Glimmer Athletic Club in Toronto