Commonwealth bronze medalist has Langley roots

A former Langley resident who honed his craft at Flip City Gymnastics is a Commonwealth bronze medalist.

Canadian national gymnastics team member Zachary Clay came home with a bronze medal at the Commonwealth games in Glasgow, Scotland.

Clay, who started gymnastics at Flip City (now located in Walnut Grove), and attended the Langley Fundamental school in Brookswood, now trains with the national team and with the Twisters club in Abbotsford, under the guidance of former Olympians Richard and Ken Ikeda.

“It was a great opportunity for me to compete in Scotland,” Clay said. “It gave me a real insight as to what high level athletes are doing from other countries.”

Clay, who competed in the pommel horse, rings, high bar, vault, and parallel bars, was able to achieve the bronze medal as part of the team combined event.

“I was so excited that the team won the medal,” he said.

Although the Commonwealth Games is one of Clay’s toughest competitions to date, he has competed throughout B.C. and Canada, in Japan on numerous occasions, the United States, and Europe, and he was at the Junior Commonwealth Games a few years ago in Great Britain.

The 19 year old has fond memories of Langley’s Flip City Gymnastics Club and credits head coach Rusty Pierce and men’s coach Paul Massey for encouraging him and helping  him get his start in the sport.

Clay has one theme that he carries on a bumper sticker on his car: Olympics 2016 Rio.

“That’s my ultimate goal,” Clay said.

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