Shew hopes to floor world

RANDY SPORTAK -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 7:22 AM ET

The new routine Kyle Shewfelt will unveil may or may not be golden.

It certainly won't be for a lack of effort, though.

Shewfelt, the reigning Olympic gold-medal winning gymnast on the floor exercise, will unveil a program at next month's world championships he expects will open a few eyes for being as difficult as anyone will see.

"It is ultra-difficult, yes, and it kills me every time I do it, but I love doing it," said Shewfelt, who departs today for the event in Stuttgart, Germany. "I have my sights set on doing something no one else does. I want to set myself apart from the competition. I want to do difficult skills, but also want to pay attention to the small, creative things in the routine, because I think that's how I developed my reputation.

"People took notice of me because I did pay attention to the smaller details, and I want to maintain that.

"I want that to be my legacy. When I'm done, I want people to look back and want to press rewind on their TiVo or whatever and think of me as one of the gymnasts that will go down in history as one of the most creative, unique and artistic."

If all goes to plan, the 25-year-old Calgarian believes this new routine will do it.

"I do a jump with a one-and-a-half turn, just to a prone fall, but I want to add another turn to that for the Olympics. That's something that's going to make the fans and judges take notice and think 'Wow, that's different -- nobody does that.'

"Those are the things that are important to me."

Yesterday, Shewfelt helped announce the Canadian Sports Centre Calgary's new initiative -- Fuel for Gold.

Based out of the University of Calgary's dining centre, Olympic-calibre athletes will be able to purchase hot, chef-made meals, subsidized for $5 and geared to their training requirements.

Alberta's beef, egg, turkey and pork producers have partnered with the program, aimed to provide athletes with meals immediately after training, when it's most critical for recovery purposes.

Said CSCC president Dale Henwood, "it will make the life of the athlete more efficient."

Canada needs a top-12 finish to qualify for the Beijing Games next summer, and Shewfelt also must qualify as an individual, despite being the 2004 gold medallist.

The goals shouldn't be difficult to attain, but Shewfelt -- who appears to have turned the corner in his battle with tendonitis in his Achilles -- said the key to achieving them is to concentrate more on performance instead of results.

"That's all I did in Athens, and then you can't be disappointed," he said. "I want to control everything I can control, but I'm in a judged sport and can't control everything."

At least he has the benefit of being a winner, which helps any athlete in judged competition.

"It's different going into events because I do have a reputation and a title to defend," he said. "Now I have a little bit different perspective because I have won it."


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