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Gymnast Brianna Fortune primed for provincial competition

Brianna Fortune practices her routine at Saltos Gymnastics on Thursday afternoon.
Brianna Fortune practices her routine at Saltos Gymnastics on Thursday afternoon. - Gary Kean

A question that often gets asked when witnessing an acrobatic, athletic feat is how someone could possibly know they were capable of pulling it off when they tried it.

It’s probably an inquiry that gets brought up a lot at the Saltos Gymnastics Club, where any number of young gymnasts are flipping or leaping by at any given time.

Brianna Fortune, a 15-year-old competitive member of the club, admits the sport takes a lot of courage and commitment.

“Certain skills are scary at first,” she said. “But you get used to them as you keep doing them.”

A Level 1 student at Corner Brook Regional High, Fortune has been involved with the club since she was just four years old, but started competitive gymnastics five years ago.

The daughter of Corner Brook’s Loretta and Neil Fortune enjoys setting goals and achieving them.

“Since it’s an individual sport, you always have to strive to do your best and always be focused,” she said.

This weekend she’ll be among many athletes across the island competing at the Gymnastics Newfoundland and Labrador Provincial Championships, hosted here in the city at Saltos.

Fortune will be competing in vault, bars, beam and floor in the Level 7 Open category. Of those four, she considers vault her specialty.

“I have a lot of power and it just comes to me naturally as the easiest of those four,” she explains.

This will be her fifth provincial competition, so she knows what to expect and what’s expected of her.

She’s aiming to set personal best scores in her events and qualify for the Eastern Canadian championships. To do that, she’d need a top-four placing in her age group and achieve a qualifying score.

Though she’s an old pro at the game by now, there are still nerves involved.

“Over the past couple of years, I’ve gotten more calm than I was at my first provincials,” she says.

The courage has kicked in.

The provincial championships officially get underway today and wrap up on Sunday.

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