What a privilege it was to speak to the amazing gymnasts, coaches and parents at Markham Gymnastics Club’s annual awards banquet recently. In addition to handing out celebratory medals, I was asked to speak about the impact that gymnastics has had on my life. Where to start?!
In recounting my journey from recreational athlete to elite Olympic gymnast, I shared with the group how I loved being upside down, that I was sometimes afraid of the new skills I was learning, missing out on social activities because of training was challenging at times, how making the Olympic team at 15 was stressful and then a great thrill and, how I will never forget marching into the Los Angeles Olympic stadium behind Alex Baumann in the front row of Team Canada.
When asked what advice I would give young gymnasts, the first thing I would say is love what you do! If there is passion, there is a will to improve. Never underestimate the power of hard work and practice, love the a-ha moments, relish the mastery of new skills, keep the balance in your life, and remember to smile!