For Kyle Shewfelt, 2004 was a year of important firsts, both personally and on the world stage.
At the Summer Olympics in Athens, he captured Canada’s first and only Olympic medal in artistic gymnastics, picking up gold in the floor exercise. A few months later, the Calgary-born gymnast, who has also earned medals at the world championships and Commonwealth Games, bought his first home.
“It was a really exciting time,” said Shewfelt, who was 22 years old at the time of the momentous purchase.
Today, Shewfelt owns Kyle Shewfelt Gymnastics, a facility on 118th Avenue S.E., and works as a commentator covering gymnastics for CBC Sports.
“I’ll never forget the day I moved from my childhood bedroom – had the U-Haul, putting my bed in there,” he said. “I had to buy a couch and all the furniture. I really only had a bed and a dresser, essentially.”
Shewfelt, who grew up in the southeast Calgary neighbourhood of Dover, bought a two-storey, single-family home with a front-attached two-car garage in Harvest Hills, just south of Country Hills Boulevard.
The 1,800-square-foot home, a foreclosure, was a “steal of a deal,” he says, costing him $212,000 after negotiating down from its listed price in the $250,000s.
Living in his family home allowed him to save the money he needed for the purchase. The three-time Olympian adds that his dad lent him money for the down payment, which he has since paid back.
“I’ll never forget the day I moved from my childhood bedroom – had the U-Haul, putting my bed in there. I had to buy a couch and all the furniture. I really only had a bed and a dresser, essentially.”
His house was part of a homeowners’ association that incorporated three other single-family homes and a collection of villas. Shewfelt remembers being a fan of its kitchen island, bonus room, finished basement and spacious deck. The location made sense, too.
“I was travelling a lot,” he said. “I was doing a lot of speaking, going to a lot of events, travelling for gymnastics competitions. So, I thought being closer to the (Calgary International Airport) would be a more ideal location.
“It was 10 minutes or less. I could leave an hour before my flight and still get through.” At the time, he trained at the University of Calgary, which was about a 20-minute commute from his home.
Shewfelt stayed in the home until 2008, when he had to navigate a challenging housing market that saw his property sit on the market for 10 months before selling.
“I’m an inner-city person at heart,” he said. So, it makes sense that his next real estate purchase was a condo in Garrison Green that became an investment property, and he now calls Marda Loop home.
Shewfelt describes his current location as “right in the heart of it,” adding, “from home, everything is walkable.”