Former Olympian judging rhythmic gymnastics at Winter Games

Former Olympian judging rhythmic gymnastics at Winter Games

By Harpreet Sidhu

Author: BC Winter Games/Saturday, February 27, 2016/Categories: 2016 BC Winter Games, Rhythmic Gymnastics

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A judge at rhythmic gymnastics has brought a whole new level of competitive credentials to the 2016 BC Winter Games in Penticton this weekend. 

Lori Fung was among the field of athletes selected to compete in the Los Angeles Summer Olympics after rhythmic gymnastics was sanctioned by the International Olympic Committee in 1984.

Fung took time out of her international judging schedule to come to Penticton, and says she enjoyed interacting with the future stars of the sport.

“It’s so important to give back to the game. This is where I started. The sport is so fresh and new,” Fung said “This sport gives the girls confidence, grace and beauty. These young girls will grow up to strong leaders in the world. I’ve seen it happen with so many of my former students.”

In 1984, Fung beat out the Romanian favourite to win gold – the first medal winner in the sport’s Olympic history. She was a Canadian champion seven times, and has been inducted into the British Columbia Hall of Fame and Canadian Hall of Fame, and has received the Order of Canada.

She is now overseeing another first – the debut of rhythmic gymnastics at the BC Winter Games. “It’s more exciting for the parents than the kids to see me. But when they go home they can YouTube me,” she said.

“For the children it’s a life-changing experience. It’s their first time at a multi-sport games,” Fung said. “For me it was the Olympics, but this is something they will always remember.”

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