The a Chinese rhythmic gymnastic team from Shanghai trained at Club Adiago two days this week and will attend the Canadian championship at the Richmond Olympic Oval until Sunday.
“The Chinese are renown for creativity and expertise,” said Adrienne Arnold, the director of Club Adiago, which trains in multiple locations including the Hellenic Community Centre on Arbutus Street.
A new international point system will change the look of rhythmic gymnastics, added Arnold. “We’ll see more creativity and dance. I think people will be travelling around, looking to see what other nations are doing and how they are interpreting the new spirit of the sport.”
A combination of elegance, strength and artistic expression, rhythmic gymnastics debuted at the Olympics in 1996 in individual and group categories. It is one of two Olympic summer disciplines open only to women. (Synchronized swimming is the other.)
Individual competitors perform short routines to music and must keep an apparatus — a hoop, a ball, clubs or a ribbon — moving at all times. In synchronized rhythmic gymnastics, competitors do two routines, one with five balls and another with three ribbons and two balls.
The visiting Chinese athletes will attend the national meet, which is a selection tournament for the Canadian team.
“It’s a friendly gesture on Canada’s part,” said Arnold.