Gymnast Casey Sandy Sticking To Plan To Get To The Olympics
Brampton’s Casey Sandy seems like a soft-spoken guy, not the type given to making waves, but it’s clear he still feels the sting of being left off the men’s gymnastics team for the Beijing Olympics.
|GRACE CHIU/GYMNASTICS CANADA|
|Casey Sandy pulled down top honours from the NCAA.|
Sandy, once described by his university coach Randy Jepson as the “Rodney Dangerfield” of NCAA gymnastics," played a major role in helping Canada earn a team berth for the Olympics at the 2007 worlds after star Kyle Shewfelt shattered both his legs.
But Sandy’s attempts to make it to his first Games were undercut because he missed a key qualification meet during exam week at Penn State. He said he didn’t realize that meet was part of the qualification criteria.
He doesn’t make a big deal about it now, but admits he isn’t completely over it.
“I’m a little bit bitter about it, but I try not to let it get to me, I try to move on,” he said.
Part of that moving on is competing at this week’s national championships in Hamilton, where he hopes to establish himself as an important part of the puzzle on the men’s side leading to the 2012 London Olympics.
“One of my goals growing up was to go to the Olympics, so it definitely is a big motivator for me,” said Sandy.
“My friends and family all want me to keep going to go to the next Olympics. … It’s a matter of how my body stands up to it the next couple of years. But that’s what I plan on doing.”
He finished his stellar collegiate career on a huge high, winning the Nissen-Emery Award, gymnastics' version of the Heisman Trophy. He didn’t think he’d cop the honour because it never usually goes to a non-American.
Majoring in sciences, Sandy has one semester left and is looking at a career in pharmacy. He said his experience at Penn State was “awesome.”
“I’m kind of sad to leave now. You have to eventually move on to other experiences.”