Melanie Louise Banville
Year Inducted: 2008
One word will forever be attached to Melanie Louise Banville’s name and that is Olympian. Melanie helped her gymnastics teams win gold at just about every level she competed in.
At the age of eleven in 1999, Tsukahara and Tkatchev Combination were becoming a part of Melanie’s vocabulary. Melanie competed in the Ontario Provincials that year finishing first on the Uneven Bars. At the 1999 Canadian Championships her team captured gold and her path was set. With a dedicated training regime of 22 hours per week and pushed by fellow gymnast, her brother Eric, Melanie became Cornwall’s first female summer Olympian as a member of Team Canada for gymnastics at the 2004 Athens Olympics. She finished tenth in Tumbling, 24th in Floor Exercise, and 24th in All-Around.
As one of the top gymnasts in the World, Melanie’s pre-Olympic resume spoke for itself. She was a member of Team Canada for the Pan-Am Games in 2003, placing 5th AA, 8th V, and 5th BB. Prior to competing in the 2003 World Championships, Melanie finished 3rd on the vault at an Olympic test event. In ten years of National and Worldwide competition before representing Canada in Athens, Melanie Banville finished in the top three forty times, 18 of those times in first place of her event.
As an encore to her Olympic Games appearance, at the Canadian Championships in 2005, Melanie finished first in her three events, floor, vault, and all-around. She was then recognized with the Jacques Richard Trophy as Cornwall and area’s Top Sports Personality and announced that she would be attending the University of Alabama on a full scholarship with the Crimson Tide. It didn’t take her long to impress; in January 2006 Melanie helped Alabama win their fourth Louisiana Super Six Challenge, and would finish her freshman season being named 2nd team All-American on the balance beam as well as a NCAA Scholastic All-American Academic and All SEC.
Prior to her second year at Alabama, Melanie announced her retirement from gymnastics. The wear and tear of fifteen years of competition and training, forced her career to come to an end.