Reznik twins began gymnastics in Israel
For Angelika and Victoria Reznik, rhythmic gymnastics is wrapped around their genes like the hoops and ribbons around their limbs.
Three generations have taken to the mat, including their mother, Yana Harrolskaya, who was an Olympian for the former U.S.S.R.
Now, the 15-year-old twins hope to follow in their mom’s program after winning bronze in group rhythmic gymnastics at the Youth Olympics hosted by Singapore Aug. 25.
“We were very happy and very proud of ourselves that we got to earn a medal for Canada,” Victoria said. “It felt good.”
Angelika agreed, but added that being a part of the inaugural games had a sentimental quality.
“I will always remember it,” she said. “It was a very memorable moment in my life because it was the first ever youth Olympics and not many get to experience that, especially if you win a medal there.”
Teaming up with Katrina Cameron and Melodie Omidi, the quartet scored a 43.425, good enough to place third behind the Russian and Egyptian teams.
The total mark comes from the degree of difficulty, artistic quality and execution.
Victoria admitted the competition was quite daunting at first.
“Some challenges were our nerves I guess because it was so nerve-wracking to compete at such a high-level competition,” she said.
But with five years of training under Svetlana Joukova, the girls mastered their art, one that saw its origins while they lived in Israel.
Born in Kazakhstan, the girls lived there until the age of two and eight more years in Israel before moving to Canada.
“We kind of did it in Israel but not seriously,” Victoria said. “We actually started to get serious in Canada and compete in rhythmic.”
Their discipline doesn’t interfere with their studies at the Cardinal Carter Academy for the Arts.
“Basically, we just tell our teacher, before we leave for a competition, to assign us the homework that we’re going to miss,” she said. “We’re doing our homework during the competition time.”
Now they’re working on the choreography and athleticism involved with qualifying for the 2012 Summer Olympics in London.
“We’re looking forward to that but first to get there we have to try out for the senior group and see if we make it,” she said. “If we get top 12 in the world we will qualify for the Olympics in 2012.”
Then they’ll have time to compete in group gymnastics at the 2015 Pan Am games here in their own backyard.
“It will be great,” they agreed.