The junior squad from Montmirail was a big surprise to us this year. While searching through the internet on the lookout for what we have missed during the last years we found only a few videos. Their web page goes back only to 2014. So, where exactly did this squad come from which has good chances to represent Switzerland at the European championships? Let’s talk to their coach.
They introduced themselves to the vaulting world with a video in March 2016. They told us that they are from Romandy, Switzerland. The whole country has four official languages. Montmirail is located at the border of the German & French speaking areas. The junior squad has members who speak the one or the other language. Their coach Mirjam Degiorgi grew up bilingual. She brings the girls together and helps them not only to learn vaulting but also languages.
It is very enriching to be a bilingual team. The girls get along very well. Everyone is trying to speak slowly and clearly. Normally they all talk in their mother tongue and sometimes they use hands and feets to support communication.
They are the only team of this kind. What a challenge for all members. But that’s not the only challenge they face. They tried to qualify for the world championships in 2015 but were not well enough prepared. It was the first year that they trained in a tent (take a look at the videos below). Before that, vaulting was always an outdoor sport for them. But in 2016, the second year that the team trained in this constellation, everything was supposed to change.
It is not that we went to the top of the Swiss juniors from one day to the next. Last year we have been candidates for the worlds with our Dirty Dancing freestyle but weren’t as well prepared as this year. We became junior vice Swiss champion and could celebrate a victory at the CVI Salzburg in December 2015. For this season, choosing a theme which wouldn’t draw criticism for not being developed completely was a priority. This was a problem with the well-known Dirty Dancing theme. So, this year we wanted to tell our own story…
Part of the journey was the video about themselves. We can see the result in their great freestyle now. The outfits were designed and sewed by the team. The movements of every vaulter are unique. Hard and soft parts merge into a coherent piece of art. Everyone’s personality left its mark in this freestyle, in the end we can be amazed by a routine perfectly executed to their music.
The music is also an very important part of their journey. The French song “Nous sommes de ceux” (Fauve) gave me goose bumps because of the great interpretation.
Very crucial for our freestyle was Daniel Kaiser who we got to know in Bern last year by a fortunate coincidence. He came to us for a weekend in October 2015 and worked with us on the routine as well as the music. We listened to the song “Nous sommes de ceux” = “We are among those” of the band “Fauve” in Ermelo & decided that it would suit our team very well. The song is about ordinary people whom nobody expects to do something extraordinary. Still, we did it! We edited some songs from “Fauve” with Daniel and recorded own lyrics. We included sounds of our roots: the lake, our first horse, our soccer team, the wine, our anthem and so on. And of course, in our freestyle we speak of our big dream, to take part in a championship for Switzerland! At the end comes a heart for “Haut les coeurs” / “Hochleben die Herzen”. The vaulters answer to the song in both languages: “Go, girls, now it starts. My squad is my family. Vaulting is my life. We are Montmirail. We are from Romandy. The only bilingual team. We are something special. Our dream, a championship for Switzerland.”
The selection trial comes to an end for them. Next weekend, they will know if their dream comes true. They had to compete at one of the CVIs Portogruaro, Saumur, Moorsele or Ermelo and at the CVI Bern. Next weekend the national competition in Uster will decide who will represent their country. The junior squad has to reach a 6.8. Tösstal with its Pippi Longstocking rountine collected a 6.995, 7.604, 7.649 & a 7.257. Montmirail brings a 7.187, 7.372 & a 7.418. The last clash of both teams in Bern was won by Montmirail. But it is in Uster where the battle will be decided. In the end only one team will be representing Switzerland.