By Laura Lennie, News Staff
Kevin Lytwyn is flying high.
The 23-year-old Stoney Creek native and Canadian men’s gymnastics team member landed three medals at the XX Commonwealth Games July 23 to Aug. 3 in Glasgow, Scotland.
Lytwyn, who trains at the University of Calgary Gymnastics Centre under head coach Jason Woodnick, captured a bronze medal as part of the team on July 29. He also dismounted his way to a silver medal in rings on July 31 and a bronze on the high bar on Aug. 1.
“I am really happy with my performance at the Games,” said Lytwyn, who returned to Calgary last week. “Before we left for Scotland, I didn’t even know if I would be competing due to an unfortunate hand infection. I am quite pleased to have been able to help my team to a podium finish and come away with a few medals myself.”
Lytwyn and the Canadian men’s gymnastics team earned the bronze medal with a score of 252.078.
The team finished third behind Scotland and England.
Lytwyn finished in the top eight on the high bar, parallel bars and rings during the team competition.
The competition spanned two days.
Lytwyn described day one as a “little shaky.”
“We counted a few major errors and our team seemed to be a bit out of sorts, perhaps due to a few nagging injuries, which prohibited some of us from having proper training leading up to the Games,” he said. “Day two, though, was much better from the start. The atmosphere in the Hydro (arena) was amazing; it seemed as though we got some jitters out in day one and our team just dialed in and had a good, fun competition, which landed us the bronze. It was great, we were all really happy.”
Lytwyn picked up the silver medal in rings with a score of 14.8 out of a possible 16.
He finished second behind teammate Scott Morgan of North Vancouver, B.C.
Lytwyn said he was nervous going into the rings final.
His hand was a bit sore, he said.
“I was doing rings only with minor discomfort,” Lytwyn said. “I was mostly just thinking about hitting a clean routine with a stuck dismount. I knew it would be a close competition and it would probably come right down to the landing, so that’s what I was focusing on in warm-up.”
Lytwyn also was the last competitor in the event.
He said going last isn’t always a bad thing.
“It’s actually a good spot to be in if you hit your routine because you are the last person the judges see and if you make a lasting impression then that can work in your favour,” Lytwyn said. “It all worked out for me. I was very pleased that I won the silver alongside my teammate, who won the gold.”
Lytwyn continued to impress the judges.
He captured the bronze medal on the high bar with a score of 14.866.
Lytwyn said he was feeling pretty excited heading into the high bar finals.
It was his favourite moment of the Games, he said.
“That (the high bar) is probably my best event,” Lytwyn said. “I was last up again, closing out the gymnastics side of things. I went through my routine cleanly when it mattered and it was just amazing to end on such a high note.”
Lytwyn said his experience at the Games was “awesome” from start to finish.
“The competition was amazing, I met my goals, met a lot of new people and made a lot of new friends,” he said. “The volunteers at the event also were so kind and helpful. Just everything was a blast.”
Lytwyn is now training for the World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in October in Nanning, China.
He said his ultimate goal is to compete at the 2016 Summer Olympics.
“Nothing would make me more happy and proud then to represent Canada in Rio,” Lytwyn said.