Kristina started to make a name for herself since her junior days when she participated at the Pacific Alliance Championships in Honolulu in 2006. There she was part of the team that captured silver and individually she won a bronze on the uneven bars.
In her senior debut at the World Championships in Stuttgart, Kristina competed all events during the qualification round adding up a 56.000 that placed her 38th all-around. As a team, Canada finished 14th which meant they would not be allowed to send a full team to the Olympics in Beijing and would only be able to send 2 gymnasts.
In early 2008 Vaculik competed in the Pacific Rim Championships in San José, California. Canada took silver as a team and Kristina won bronze on the uneven bars. Afterwards she was very active in the World Cup circuit participating in the events held in Maribor, Tianjin and Moscow. She earned medals in Maribor, a silver on bars and gold on the beam.
In June at the Canadian Championships, Kristina won silver in the all-around and medaled on all the event finals. Despite her success she did not manage to grab one of the two spots available for the Olympics. After not making the Olympic Team Kristina took time off to rest and heal old injuries.
After almost two years of absence from international competition Kristina re-appeared at the Cottbus World Cup in March of 2010. There, she took medals on all the events. She was the silver medallist on vault and beam and took gold on bars and floor.
Back at the Pacific Rim in April of 2010 the Canadian team finished fourth and Kristina took bronze on floor. In May, Kristina became national champion in the all-around and took gold on all the event finals except for floor where she took silver.
At the Pre-Panams in Guadalajara, Canada took silver as a team and Kristina won bronze on bars and floor. Later in the year at Worlds in Rotterdam, the Canadian team finished in 13th place, and Kristina scored a 54.065 and was second reserve to the all-around final.
A year later at Worlds in Tokyo, Canada improved their team placement to 11th and individually Kristina scored a 52.831. A week later Kristina was in Guadalajara, Mexico for the PanAmerican Games where the Canadian team finished in the silver medal position and Kristina was the bronze medalist in the all-around and silver medalist on beam.
At the Olympic Test Event in January, Canada placed second as a team earning the right to send a full team to the Olympics in London. Kristina contributed to Canada’s success by competing on all four pieces an earning a total of 54.707. Individually Kristina also advanced to the bars final where she finished in fourth place.
Kristina attended her fourth Pacific Rim championships where Canada earned the bronze medal as a team. And after a successful Canadian Championships and Canadian Olympic selection competition she was named to the Olympic team for London.
At the Olympics Canada qualified to the team final in 8th place and Kristina scored a 53.566 that left her as third reserve into the all-around final. In the team final Canada improved their performance to finish in a historic fifth place. Kristina contributed on bars and beam with a 14.166 and a 13.433.
After the Olympics Kristina went on to compete NCAA for Stanford University.
Kristina’s little sister, Natalie (born in 1996), also reached the elite level and represented Canada at World Cups and several international competitions before committing to the University of Georgia and focusing on her NCAA career.
Kristina Vaculik on floor at the 2010 Pacific Rim Championships
Natalie Vaculik floor at the Massillia Cup in 2013
Article by: Isabel Iz
Photo cover: Nadia Boyce