Folz to share the floor with Canadian Olympians
by Randy Pascal
The past few years have provided a wonderful array of new experiences for Sudbury product and GymZone Sudbury Laurels’ sensation Kayla
Folz. The next few days mark yet another milestone for the grade 12 student at St Charles College, as she takes part in 2017 Elite Canada in
Artistic Gymnastics in Halifax.
“There’s quite a few of the girls from the Canadian Olympic team that are in the lineup,” noted Folz last week. “This is my first meet being on
the same floor with them.” And while her first and foremost focus will be on the competition at hand, Folz acknowledged that in terms of events that she
has attended, this one is awfully special.
“I would love to be able to talk to them (Olympians), but I’m thinking during the meet, I will be focusing on my routines,” said Folz. “But I would love
to have the opportunity to speak with a few of them. That would be really awesome.”
At this point, Folz is simply happy to be included in the field, her training workouts curtailed noticeably over the past month or two, as she has
battled a pair of nagging injuries. “It was just recently decided that I could compete, so I didn’t even know if I was going to be able to go, so my goal
now is to hit clean routines to the best of my ability.”
In fact, the Elite Canada meet carries a bit of a double-edged sword for the local talent who fully understands the importance of making the most of an
opportunity that seemed likely to pass her by just a few weeks ago. “Elite Canada is one of my more critical meets, because it’s one of the ones that helps
qualify me for nationals,” explained Folz. “As well, there are lots of scouts, people from everywhere, there to watch us compete.”
With her sights still set on obtaining an NCAA scholarship offer, the 2014 Sudbury Female Amateur Athlete of the Year is leaning heavily towards
returning to high school for one more year, allowing her to enjoy a sophomore season competing at the Gymnastics Canada “Senior Women’s” level,
thereby increasing her visibility substantially.
Though Folz would have preferred a lead-in to the top-end meet with a typical amount of training, she has also been around long enough to understand how
best to deal with a reduced preparation period.
“I usually feel pretty good about my vaults, even with less training,” she stated. “I haven’t completed a floor routine (in competition) yet this year,
because of my ankles, so I’m a little nervous in that sense – but I am super excited, because floor is one of my favourites.”
“The biggest thing is keeping my nerves in check for all events, but beam is the one that causes me the most amount of stress.” The Elite Canada meet
runs from February 2nd to the 5th, staged at the Canada Games Centre in Halifax.