Written by Veronica Noronha
Rhythmic Gymnastics is like ballet, gymnastics and modern jazz rolled (literally) into one majestic sport. At 15, Michel Vivier is already mastering all of the apparatus tied to this sport. Every toss of the clubs, twirl of the hoop and bounce of the ball is done with such precision that it can be missed in the blink of an eye. Anyone watching this sport in action is mesmerized by the athlete’s strength, flexibility, agility and coordination with a multitude of apparatus. Rhythmic Gymnastics is as much a mental game as it is physical. Vivier’s ability to master the physical demands while staying mentally focused with discipline, confidence and precision, is truly remarkable.
We caught up with Vivier at the 2019 Canadian Championships in Rhythmic Gymnastics which were held at the Markham Pan Am Centre in May and where she placed 1st all-around in the junior competition. She has every bit of what it takes to be a champion. In fact, it is in her DNA. Her mother, also a gymnast in her youth in her home country of Ukraine, encouraged Vivier to try the sport when she was three. By the age of six, Vivier joined the competitive circuit.
Vivier is an athlete of few words but her passion comes through when she is on the competition floor. She told us that she is focused on one thing – the ultimate prize for any athlete – to make it to the Olympics and represent Canada. She says: “It’s going to take a lot of work, sweat and tears, but I’m working towards becoming an Olympian.”
Vivier is definitely one to watch. She has already travelled the world representing Canada in countries like Estonia, Ukraine and Bulgaria, where gymnastics is highly competitive. Even though she’s been on the world stage, she says there is nothing better than competing in her home country of Canada.
As a York region athlete, Vivier has competed often at the Markham Pan Am Centre and describes it as the ideal venue for rhythmic gymnastics. “(The venue) has amazing lighting, an amazing floor, and is just amazing to compete in,” says Vivier.
The Markham Pan Am Centre is a world-class sport complex and was built for the 2015 Pan Am Centre. It is made for training high performance athletes like Vivier as well has hosting sport competitions ranging from international to local communities.
Check out this video to hear more from Vivier and to see rhythmic gymnastics in action at the Markham Pan Am Centre.