Working toward an Olympic Dream

Gymnast Maegan Chant is focused.

The 16-year-old rising star stands rock still, staring at the lower of 2 parallel bars in front of her. She reaches her heavily wrapped and chalked hands and grabs it, lifting herself effortlessly into the air. She rotates, spins, and twists between the two bars, seeming to defy the gravity that keeps the rest of us planted on the ground. As quickly as she begins, she ends, flipping herself into the air, with more twisting and spinning, before her feet stick on one of the cushioned mats below.

Then she does it again. And again. And again.

Such is the life of an elite athlete. Repeating the same routines, practicing the techniques, honing the details. For Maegan, who began gymnastics as an overactive tot just three years old, it has been a long journey. She has made sacrifices. She has as much work in front of her as she has behind her. Yet there is nothing she would rather do. “Gymnastics gives such a challenge. I love tumbling, and being upside down, and just the rush of doing it,’ says Maegan.

Maegan has a lofty goal – to make the Olympics just two short years away, in 2016 in Rio de Janiero. For now, she trains, 26 hours per week, at World Class Gymnastics on Frid St. in Hamilton under the tutelage of coaches Gabriel Tantaru and Cristina Bontas-Tantaru. Maegan holds coach Cristina in the highest esteem, for she is a double medalist from the ’92 Barcelona Olympics. She’s been to the top of the mountain, and knows the route that Maegan must follow to realize her own Olympic dream.   -Barry Gray

Check out a video of Maegan here: https://vimeo.com/85373360

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, January 21,2014 - Gymnast Maegan Chant, who trains at World Class gymnastics, has her sights set on the Olympics inn 2016. Maegan hangs on to the bar. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, January 21,2014 – Gymnast Maegan Chant, who trains at World Class gymnastics, has her sights set on the Olympics inn 2016. Maegan hangs on to the bar. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, January 21,2014 - Gymnast Maegan Chant, who trains at World Class gymnastics, has her sights set on the Olympics inn 2016. Maegan works out on the bars. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, January 21,2014 – Gymnast Maegan Chant, who trains at World Class gymnastics, has her sights set on the Olympics inn 2016. Maegan works out on the bars. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, January 21,2014 - Gymnast Maegan Chant, who trains at World Class gymnastics, has her sights set on the Olympics inn 2016. Maegan concentrates on the uneven parallel bars. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, January 21,2014 – Gymnast Maegan Chant, who trains at World Class gymnastics, has her sights set on the Olympics inn 2016. Maegan concentrates on the uneven parallel bars. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, January 21,2014 - Gymnast Maegan Chant, who trains at World Class gymnastics, has her sights set on the Olympics in 2016. Maegan wraps her hands before working out on the uneven parallel bars. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, January 21,2014 – Gymnast Maegan Chant, who trains at World Class gymnastics, has her sights set on the Olympics in 2016. Maegan wraps her hands before working out on the uneven parallel bars. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, January 21,2014 - Gymnast Maegan Chant, who trains at World Class gymnastics, has her sights set on the Olympics inn 2016. Maegan gets a helping hand from coach Gabriel Tantaru on the bars. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, January 21,2014 – Gymnast Maegan Chant, who trains at World Class gymnastics, has her sights set on the Olympics inn 2016. Maegan gets a helping hand from coach Gabriel Tantaru on the bars. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, January 21,2014 - Gymnast Maegan Chant, who trains at World Class gymnastics, has her sights set on the Olympics in 2016. Maegan gets ready to vault. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, January 21,2014 – Gymnast Maegan Chant, who trains at World Class gymnastics, has her sights set on the Olympics in 2016. Maegan gets ready to vault. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, January 21,2014 - Gymnast Maegan Chant, who trains at World Class gymnastics, has her sights set on the Olympics inn 2016. Maegan goes airborne. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, January 21,2014 – Gymnast Maegan Chant, who trains at World Class gymnastics, has her sights set on the Olympics inn 2016. Maegan goes airborne. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.
Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, January 21,2014 - Gymnast Maegan Chant, who trains at World Class gymnastics, has her sights set on the Olympics inn 2016. Maegan waits her turn to practice a technique. Coach Cristina Bontas-Tantaru chats with a couple of young gymnasts. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, January 21,2014 – Gymnast Maegan Chant, who trains at World Class gymnastics, has her sights set on the Olympics inn 2016. Maegan waits her turn to practice a technique. Coach Cristina Bontas-Tantaru chats with a couple of young gymnasts. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, January 21,2014 - Gymnast Maegan Chant, who trains at World Class gymnastics, has her sights set on the Olympics inn 2016. Coach Cristina Bontas-Tantaru chats with Maegan while coach Gabriel Tantaru stretches her during a practice session. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, January 21,2014 – Gymnast Maegan Chant, who trains at World Class gymnastics, has her sights set on the Olympics inn 2016. Coach Cristina Bontas-Tantaru chats with Maegan while coach Gabriel Tantaru stretches her during a practice session. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, January 21,2014 - Gymnast Maegan Chant, who trains at World Class gymnastics, has her sights set on the Olympics inn 2016. Maegan prepares to vault. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, January 21,2014 – Gymnast Maegan Chant, who trains at World Class gymnastics, has her sights set on the Olympics inn 2016. Maegan prepares to vault. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, January 21,2014 - Gymnast Maegan Chant, who trains at World Class gymnastics, has her sights set on the Olympics inn 2016. Maegan puts on her hand wraps before working out on the bars. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, January 21,2014 – Gymnast Maegan Chant, who trains at World Class gymnastics, has her sights set on the Olympics inn 2016. Maegan puts on her hand wraps before working out on the bars. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, January 21,2014 - Gymnast Maegan Chant, who trains at World Class gymnastics, has her sights set on the Olympics inn 2016. Maegan waits her turn to practice a technique. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

Hamilton. Ontario, Tuesday, January 21,2014 – Gymnast Maegan Chant, who trains at World Class gymnastics, has her sights set on the Olympics inn 2016. Maegan waits her turn to practice a technique. Photo by: Barry Gray, The Hamilton Spectator.

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