Canadian artistic gymnast Ellie Black is aiming to establish herself as the best Canadian gymnast of this generation.
After making her Olympic debut at the 2012 London Games at a young age of 16, Black did nothing but to reach new heights in her career showing that she deserves to be lined up among the best artistic gymnasts in the world.
“I definitely think that from the 2012 Olympics, I gained a lot of confidence. I kind of did it backwards, I went to the Olympics first and then the world championships and then the Commonwealth Games and Pan Am Games,” said the 20 year old gymnast after her training session this week at the University of Alberta’s Butterdome, where she’s participating in the 2016 Global News Canadian Championships in artistic and trampoline gymnastics.
“After the Olympics, I knew I hadn’t reached my full potential and I wanted to see what I could do for Team Canada and gymnastics in Canada, and how much I could improve as an athlete myself.”
It was not an easy journey to take, but the 20-year-old gymnast made it look easy as the podium just became a regular destination for her.
She executed winning performances at the 2015 Pan Am Games last year where she won five medals, which includes three gold medals (all-around, balance beam and floor exercise).
The medal she acquired in the all-around competition was the first-ever all-around gold medal won by a Canadian gymnast at the Pan Am Games since 1979.
At the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Black earned the gold medal in the beam, silver in the vault and bronze in the floor exercise.
She also acquired better results year by year at the World Championships. In the 2013 World Championships, she placed thirteenth, in 2014 she finished ninth and last year she finish seventh.
She also played a major role in helping the Canadian women’s group earn a qualification for the Olympic Games with a sixth-place finish at the World Championships.
There is a high probability that she’ll be included in the roster, but the team still has to go through the selection process that will be partially finalized this week at the national championships.
“Going into (this process) four years ago at nationals right before the Olympics, you just put everything out there, hoping to get a shot… you’re not sure where you stand. The goal was to hopefully make the Olympics, but I really came out of nowhere,” the 20-year old gymnast from Halifax said.
“My whole focus is getting named to that team. It doesn’t matter what I’ve done over the last four years, I have to still prove that I belong on the team.”
The Canadian women’s gymnastics team has enjoyed a continuous improvement in their standings over the past several years and Black’s performance plays a big role in that.
“Looking back, there’s a lot of things I’ve improved on over the last four years, and I’m proud of myself how far our program has come,” said Black.
“I’ve been so thankful for this opportunity to inspire athletes across the country. Canada is rising in gymnastics, and there’s no place I’d rather be.”
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