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Canadian Alexandra Orlando blown away by Olympic debut

Von: vick444~no@example.com [Profil]
Datum: 18.09.2008 01:36
Message-ID: <48d19470.2357425@news.aei.ca>
Newsgroup: alt.sports.gymnastics
Orlando blown away by Olympic debut


She didnít have her best performance, but Alexandra
Orlando still had the time of her life.

The North Toronto rhythmic gymnast competed in her first
Olympic Games last month in Beijing after years of
success representing Canada in other international

Despite not qualifying for the final of the rhythmic
gymnastics competition, Orlando said experiencing what
itís like to be an Olympian was good enough for her.

"It was way better than I thought it was going to be. It
blew me away," the 21-year-old said. "The spirit in the
Olympic village was amazing and all the Canadians were
cheering each other on.

"Itís kind of hard to explain, but the experience was
almost unreal,"Orlando added. "I wanted to get the full
Olympic experience and I think I did."

Even though she didnít compete until Aug. 21, Orlando
arrived in Beijing on Aug. 6. She took part in the
opening and closing ceremonies; cheered for fellow
Canadians in diving, swimming, wrestling and artistic
gymnastics; and, of course, competed.

When asked what her favourite Olympic memory is, Orlando
thought about it for a few moments and said, "definitely
the opening ceremonies".

"I remember watching them when I was a little girl ... so
I made sure I pushed my way right up to the front behind
(flagbearer) Adam (van Koeverden),"she said with a laugh.
"I think I had goose bumps the entire time."

When it came time for Orlando to compete, her results,
unfortunately, were not ideal. The University of Toronto
student earned 63.625 overall points after her routines
in rope, clubs, ribbon and hoop, placing her 18th - only
the top 10 advanced to the final.

"It was very exciting in the days leading up to it, but
right before I was to compete I was very nervous. It was
probably the most nervous I have ever been in my
life,"Orlando said. "I was in a little bit of shock with
my scores and I was upset for a day.

"But then I realized how proud I was of my performance,"
she added. "I did what I came here to do and left it all
out on the floor."

With her Olympic debut over, Orlando is taking a year off
from competition. Sheís returning to what she calls
"being a normal student" for the first time in a long

"Iím freaking out because I donít know what to expect,"
Orlando added with a laugh.

And she says isnít sure what will happen regarding her
return to competition and a possible trip to London,
England for the 2012 Summer Olympics.

"I thought I would have a final clear decision at this
point, but I donít really know," she said. "The year off
is a Ďmeí year because I need a break after four years of
so much stress.

"After exams Iíll see how Iím feeling," Orlando added.
"You have to go into it 150 percent and with your whole
heart or else itís not worth it."

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