SSHoF logoGail (Daley) Bakker

Athlete (1990)


Gail (Daley) BakkerBorn April 5th, 1946, Gail was one of Saskatoon's finest gymnasts. At the age of 11, she took part in a tumbling program at St. Mary's hall. Mike Matich noticed her working out, and introduced her to the gymnastic program. Chuck Sebestyen also entered the scene and before long, Gail was winning medals and ribbons. In 1959, she was Saskatchewan's junior champion, then became Alberta and Western Canadian junior champion in 1960 and 1961. In 1962, she really progressed and after winning the Canadian championship was on the World Games team and competed in an England/Canada meet and the U.S. championships.

The competition in 1963 was tougher but she added the Canadian senior championship to her credit and was on the Pan-American Games team. In 1964, Gail was the only female to go to the Tokyo Games. Because of her excellent showing all year, she was awarded the Federation of International Gymnastics Pin and was named Canadian Female Athlete of the Year. After moving to the U.S. she won several collegiate titles and when she left competition she found time to coach, train and officiate.