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Exclusive Interview With Great Britain's Ellie Downie

Gymnast Ellie Downie turned senior in 2015 where she became Great Britain's first female gymnast to win an all around medal at  Eur...

Gymnast Ellie Downie turned senior in 2015 where she became Great Britain's first female gymnast to win an all around medal at  European championships. Few months later, she contributed to her team's historic third place finish at World championships.

In 2016, she accomplished her Olympic dream along with her sister Rebecca Downie beside winning three silver medals at European championships. There, she finished fifth with her team and thirteenth in the all around.

Gigi: You and your sister made GB's Rio Olympic team, how does it feel like to accomplish your Olympic dream along with your sister?

Ellie: It was really just an absolutely amazing feeling to make Rio with Becky! It's such a special thing to make an Olympic team and compete for your country but doing it along side your sister is just even better! It's still quite surreal now.

Gigi: Your sister announced several days ago that she is eyeing Tokyo Olympics, what about you?

Ellie: I'm definitely still continuing my gymnastics career and Tokyo is definitely the goal for this next cycle.

Gigi: You uploaded a video of yourself training double twisting double back tuck, when do you think you will be able to compete it?

Ellie: With new skills I only like to put them into the routines when they are good and comfortable and It's coming along but it will be ready when it's ready! But hopefully soon. 

Ellie with her Olympic teammates

Gigi: Are there other skills you are secretly training or skills you aim on training in the near future?

Ellie: I am training new skills but for now they are a secret. 

Gigi: Who impressed you the most in Rio?

Ellie: In women's I'd day Laurie Hernandez (USA) and for men I'd say Max Whitlock (GB).

Gigi: At the qualification in Rio, you had a scary fall on floor exercise. What happened? What made you fall? 

Ellie: If I'm honest that fall was the most bizarre thing I've ever done. I'm not one to have bad falls like that ever really in training and for it to have happened on such a huge stage was even more strange. I just under rotated my 2 and 1/2 twist and still went for the punch front even though I shouldn't have really. But you learn from your mistakes. 

Gigi: Were you in pain? Did you sustain an injury?

Ellie: Yesss it definitely hurt and did hurt for a while after the competitions had finished. It was an injury but I was well enough to continue.

Gigi: Was it dangerous for you to continue competing after such a fall?

Ellie: No once I was taken out of the arena I was fully assessed by our British Gymnastics doctor and he gave me the ok to go back and compete. So it wasn't dangerous.

Gigi: If a gymnast had a scary fall such as the one you had during competition, is she allowed to resume her routine after getting checked by medics or does the routine end once the gymnast leaves the podium? 

Ellie: I'm not a 100% sure but I think the routine ends once you've stopped because normally of you, you stop a routine for a reason not just because you want to stop.

Ellie Downie with her family

Gigi: Your teammate Ruby Harrold has moved on to collegiate gymnastics, would you like to follow in her footsteps once you are done with elite gymnastics?

Ellie: When I was younger I was debating it but I've decided not to now as i want to be elite for as long as I can.

Gigi: What would you like to do after finishing your gymnastics career?

Ellie: Definitely get my coaching qualifications and hopefully one day have a group of gymnasts of my own. 

Gigi: What are the goals you want to achieve next year?

Ellie: Hopefully make the European and Worlds team but we'll see how it goes. For the time being I'm really enjoying getting back to full fitness from Rio and getting new skills learnt and into my routines for the new year! 

Interview by Gigi Farid

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