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Knee injury to keep Canadian gymnast Peng Peng Lee out of Olympics

Peng-Peng Lee of Canada performs during the parallel bars portion of the womens' team gymnastics competition at the Pan American Games in Rio De Janeiro, Brazil, July 14, 2007.

CARLOS BARRIA/REUTERS

A knee injury has ended Peng Peng Lee's London Olympics dream.

The gymnast from Toronto suffered a torn anterior cruciate ligament in her left knee just over a week ago while training in Regina before the Canadian championships, forcing her out of the final Olympic selection event later this month.

"I have spent a great deal of time consulting with doctors and did a lot of soul searching to determine what was best for me," said Lee, who played a key role in helping Canada qualify a five-woman team for the Games.

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"I do not want to rush into doing gymnastics for the Olympics if my knee could be at a greater risk and possibly affect me in the future."

Lee plans to attend UCLA on a gymnastics scholarship in the fall.

Lee will still travel to London as the women's team's honorary captain.

"Peng Peng brings to the team much more than her performances on the floor," said Lise Simard, program director for the women's team.

"She is a respected leader on our team and our athletes will continue to benefit from her winning attitude, dynamic personality and crowd appeal."

The final Olympic selection camp and competition will be held in Gatineau, Que., June 24-28.

Twelve gymnasts are vying for five spots on the Olympic team plus one reserve.

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They are: Elisabeth Black of Halifax, Ottawa's Talia Chiarelli, Jessica Dowling and Jessica Savona of Oakville, Ont., Madeline Gardiner, Victoria Moors and Mikaela Gerber of Cambridge, Ont., Dominique Pegg of Sarnia, Ont., Brittany Rogers of Coquitlam, B.C., Briannah Tsang of Vancouver, Anysia Unick of Calgary and Kristina Vaculik of Whitby, Ont.

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