15 Aug Sydney Turner: “Knowing that we had achieved something historic for Canada was unreal”
Sydney Turner: “Knowing that we had achieved something historic for Canada was unreal”
By Anna Rose Johnson
Last autumn in Liverpool, Sydney Turner played a role in something historic: Canada’s bronze medal in the women’s team competition at the World Championships! It was her country’s highest finish ever at Worlds, and could lead to an even brighter future for Canada on the international stage. The seventeen-year-old was also a part of two other bronze medal-winning team finals, at both the 2022 and 2023 Pan American Championships. (She also won the bronze on bars in 2022!) We recently chatted with Sydney about her experiences at Pan Ams, that remarkable team final last year, and upcoming meets she’s aiming for.
How is your training going? Are you working on any fun new skills?
Training is going really well! I have a little break between competitions right now, so I’m taking the time to work on new skills. I’m hoping to upgrade my bar routine with new connections, upgrade my vault, and also put a D dismount at the end of my beam routine. I’m really happy with my progress so far!
Please tell us about your experiences at Pan Ams!
Pan Ams was a really great meet. I had the kindest, most supportive teammates there, and the coaching staff was also incredible. I had great people around me, which made the competition so much better. While some things didn’t go exactly how I planned on Day 1, I improved for Day 2. I was really proud of myself for that. Medellín, Colombia was a beautiful place, filled with beautiful art and really kind people. I’m really grateful I got the chance to travel there.
We loved watching your routines at the 2022 World Championships! Do you have any favorite moments from Liverpool?
One obvious moment was when we won the bronze medal. Seeing the happiness and pride on my teammates’ and coaches’ faces made me so happy. It was such an incredible surprise! I had so many emotions in one moment. One moment that sticks out to me just as much is when I saw my mom afterwards. My parents haven’t had the chance to go to any of my other international competitions, so having my mom there in such a great moment was so important to me. Seeing how happy and proud she was was really touching.
What was it like to win the bronze medal with your team? What did that achievement mean to you and other Canadian gymnasts?
It was a surreal, amazing experience. We were surprised, happy and overwhelmed. Knowing that we had achieved something historic for Canada was unreal. Being a part of that made us all really proud. I think this achievement showed Canada, and the world, that Canada can be up there too. I think it makes me, and other Canadian gymnasts, dream even bigger than before.
What’s your favorite apparatus?
Bars or beam — I can’t choose! I feel like there’s so much room for creativity on both.
How have you and your teammates been approaching the new artistry requirements of this current Code of Points?
At training camps, we work with dance teachers and our Canadian judges on our dance on beam and floor to help us become more artistic. I’ve also spent a lot of time with my coaches at home working on opening up in my artistry and becoming more expressive. It isn’t something that comes very naturally to me, but I think I’m improving more and more.
What are your goals for the rest of the 2023 season and beyond?
I would be honored to go to [the] World Championships again if I can, and that’s my main goal for 2023. I would also love to go to [the] Pan American Games! I think that would be an incredible experience. After that, Paris would be my next big goal. I want to take my gymnastics as far as I possibly can, and to me, that’s competing at the Olympics. After this next year, I’ll be heading to the University of Iowa to begin my collegiate gymnastics career. I’m really excited to begin that next chapter of my life!