Langley’s Zachary Clay competes on the pommel horse during the Abbotsford-based Twisters Invitational event. Hundreds of gymnasts from all across B.C. are competing virtually and will be judged this weekend. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

Langley’s Zachary Clay competes on the pommel horse during the Abbotsford-based Twisters Invitational event. Hundreds of gymnasts from all across B.C. are competing virtually and will be judged this weekend. (Ben Lypka/Abbotsford News)

Abbotsford’s Twisters Invitational returns in a virtual format

Hundreds of athletes submitting videos to be judged live and virtually this weekend

Over 500 athletes from all across the province have been recording and submitted routines in anticipation for what is undoubtedly the most unique Twisters Invitational in the 26-year history of the gymnastics event.

The COVID-19 pandemic forced the Abbotsford-based Twisters Gymnastics to become creative and shift its popular event to an online concept and ‘A Stream of Champions’ was born. The 2020 edition of the event was cancelled due to the pandemic.

RELATED: Abbotsford-based Twisters Invitational Meet cancelled due to coronavirus concerns

The virtual tournament has seen athletes of all ages and skills sets from all over B.C. upload live videos of their performances to a platform. It’s a one-time take for each competition and athletes are being recorded by coaches. Those videos have been filmed from March 10 to March 16, with judges viewing and evaluating live from Friday (March 19) to Sunday (March 21).

More than 2,500 videos are expected to be uploaded when it’s all said and done.

Those interested in watching the competitions will have the opportunity to do so on a pay-per-view basis. Details and instructions to view will be available at twistersgymbc.com/twisters-invitational-2021.

Richard Ikeda, the club director for Twisters, explained that the idea came together back in December and he believes it will be a good experience for the athletes.

“Some of them haven’t competed for over a year,” he said, noting COVID-19 restrictions shut down classes and saw many athletes forced to train at home. “Some of them are excited for sure, but for others it’s just about getting them ready and confident to compete. I think the event is already successful but now it’s just a matter of the weekend running smoothly and all the technical aspects working out.”

Read the March 25 edition of The News for a complete recap and results from the event.

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