Darby McIntyre retires from competitive gymnastics

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By MARCIA JANSEN

DRIFTWOOD CONTRIBUTOR

Darby McIntyre had to make one of the hardest decisions in her life so far.

The 17-year-old Salt Spring girl retired from gymnastics to focus on her last year in high school.

“It was definitely not an easy decision to make. I was struggling with it for months,” said McIntyre. “I started gymnastics when I was three and I was on a competitive level for 12 years. I trained for hours every day. Gymnastics was a huge part of my life.”

McIntyre started gymnastics on Salt Spring Island 14 years ago.

“I loved it, and was devastated when I heard that our coach had to stop and the program ended on the island. I didn’t want to quit and my parents were supportive and let me go to Duncan with three other girls from Salt Spring Island.”

Things went quickly from then on. Darby started at level 3, skipped two levels and qualified for her first Western Canadian Gymnastics Championships in 2013. A year later she was the all-around winner on four events — vault, floor, bars and beam combined — and voted Provincial Athlete of the Year by BC Gymnastics.

McIntyre focuses now on her last year in high school, preparing for graduation and her plans for the future.

“I want to go to university and become a sports physician or a chiropractor. I also started to play volleyball at school and I want to play soccer in March. I miss gymnastics a lot, so I am glad that I am coaching at Salt Spring Gymnastics now. I absolutely love to do that, to share my passion and work with young kids. Gymnastics is so much fun!” 

For more on this story, see the Dec.  20, 2017 issue of the Gulf Islands Driftwood newspaper, or subscribe online.

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