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IG Online Interview: Scott Morgan (Canada)
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Although 2016 Canadian Olympian Scott Morgan skipped the recent Elite Canada meet, he is readying himself for challenges to come, including this falls's World Championships that his country will host in Montreal.

Although 2016 Canadian Olympian Scott Morgan skipped the recent Elite Canada meet, he is readying himself for challenges to come, including this falls's World Championships that his country will host in Montreal.

The 27-year-old Morgan was the lone Canadian male artistic gymnast at last summer's Olympic Games in Rio, where he was the first competitor on floor exercise in the first subdivision. He competed on three apparatuses, ranking 14th on vault, 18th on floor exercise and 27th on rings. Morgan, who placed eighth on floor exercise at the 2013 World Championships in Antwerp, came closest to a Rio final on that event, where his score of 14.966 points was 0.234 points shy of the cut-off for the eight-gymnast final.

Morgan refers to his gymnastics in terms of "we," a consciously chosen pronoun by which he means himself and Valentin Stan, his coach at Flicka Gymnastics Club in North Vancouver. "It certainly wouldn't have been possible to get to where I've gotten without his support, so I look at us as a team," Morgan says.

In this IG Online interview, Morgan details his strategy for skipping Elite Canada, his performances in Rio and how they impacted him, his plans to revise his routines and his goals for Montreal.

IG: Why didn't you compete at Elite Canada?

SM: Following a very busy cycle and a demanding Olympic Games, we (Morgan and Stan) decided to rehab a few injuries this fall and winter that needed attention. Progress has been great so far, and our goal this year is to learn and progress as much as possible. We've decided that more time towards skills was best for our long-term plans of obtaining finals and reaching the podium, so opting out of this year's early competitions just made sense.

IG: You were reasonably close to making the floor final in Rio. Looking back, what do you think cost you a higher score and a better chance at the final?

SM: After qualifying as Canada's representative we knew we had an uphill battle starting off the competition first on floor. Perfection was our only objective and although we hit one of our best great routines, it wasn't enough to keep us in the mix as the competition progressed. It wasn't easy watching the rest of qualifications unfold but, at the end of the day, we were extremely happy with my routine and had a great experience.

IG: What did your experience in Rio teach or show you in terms of the changes or improvements you need to make in your gymnastics?

SM: Our experience certainly taught me that, regardless of competition order, it has zero reflection on how you as an athlete perform. We knew that, come competition day, the pressure to perform first up was going to be huge, and our preparation paid off. Rio was just one of many examples of how deep the the talent pool is in men's gymnastics, which is why we're planning on taking a step back and learn as much as possible. It's difficult to make it with just Start Value or form, so our goal is to maximize both in order to reach our full potential heading into this (2020 Olympic) cycle.

IG: What specific skills or combinations are you training for this season, not only on floor but your other apparatuses?

SM: We're going to try and change up a few things on floor. We want to keep it clean while opening up the door for higher Start Values, and maximizing connections while keeping some big skills in the mix. The same goes for rings and vault. It seems like everyone's pushing the envelope, so we're testing out a few new 5.6 vaults, as well as a couple new rings routine compositions, in hopes of improving our chances on multiple events.

IG: This year's worlds in Montreal present a new challenge for you competitively, compounded by the chance to compete in front of your home audience. How are you preparing for this opportunity, in terms of the extra expectations that may be placed on you there?

SM: We're planning the same as we did for Rio. Although the situation is different, we know the expectation will be just as high, and we're looking forward to showing something new and competitive at home. We expect Montreal's World Championships to be a similar experience to Toronto's 2015 Pan American Games, with loads of energy with immense pressure to do your country proud. Competing on home soil is always a pleasure, and we couldn't be more excited for this event and opportunity.

International Gymnast magazine's coverage of Canadian gymnasts includes:
"Making Tracks" - Scott Morgan profile (December 2013)
"Canadian Pace-setter" - Ana Padurariu profile (December 2016)
Jade Chrobok profile (April 2016)
Jade Chrobok and Meixi Semple cover photo inset (March 2016)
"Canadian Beacon" – Ellie Black interview (September 2015)
Chat with Christine Peng-Peng Lee (April 2015)
Megan Roberts profile (April 2015)
Isabela Onyshko profile (July/August 2014)
"Canadian Promise" - Ellie Black chat and Robert Watson profile (July/August 2014)
"Aiming to Top the Charts" - Maegan Chant interview (October 2013)
"Canadian Diversity" - Ellie Black and Hugh Smith profiles (July/August 2013)
"Sudden Impact" - Victoria Moors interview (January/February 2013)
Aleeza Yu two-page photo spread (May 2014)

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