When Rachel invited me to write a blog about sport I wasn’t sure what to write. I was tempted to take the easy route and write about Sheffield United as I’ve supported them for over twenty years and had a season ticket until I became a mum. Supporting The Blades has been a bit of a rollercoaster so there’s plenty of material (some of it would make a brilliant football based fiction book, to be honest – ‘Battle of Bramall Lane’ ring any bells? Losing a playoff final in the last minute? Relegation influenced by West Ham’s Tevez irregularities?)
However, as it’s Olympics season it felt right to share some of my favourite Olympic memories and for me that always means gymnastics.
My love for gymnastics began in 1992. I watched the Barcelona games with an avid interest and the American team won my heart. Shannon Miller’s floor routine had me spellbound from the terrific opening tumble sequence…in fact, it lead to my brief fling with attending a gymnastics club, which is a whole other story. She performed with such poise and elegance and I wanted a piece of that. It wasn’t forthcoming through my attempts at backflips, so instead I borrowed her style, tying large voile bows into my hair. How very early 90s!
The artistic gymnastics at the Rio Olympics has been an absolute delight. From a British perspective to bring back such an astounding haul of medals is brilliant, and I’ve bounded around my living room with excitement as Whitlock, Wilson, Smith, Tinkler and co performed their hearts out. Ellie Downie epitomised strength of body and character to perform in the vault after a fall during her floor routine in the team competition – another fabulous role model for young British gymnasts to aspire to emulate.
America’s newest sweetheart Simone Biles definitely brought the performance to go with the technique, especially in her gold-medal-winning floor routine. The height on those tumbles – she’s poetry in motion.
I’ve also enjoyed watching the Brownlee brothers dominate in the triathlon, local heptathlete Jessica Ennis-Hill giving her all to bring a silver medal back to Sheffield and have been surprisingly glued to the track cycling. I didn’t know what the omnium was before, but now I can’t get enough!
That said, gymnastics is the Olympic sport which captured my heart more than two decades ago. And it’s still the one that makes my heart sing.
Thank you so much Katey for sharing your love of Olympic gymnastics with us, and very glad I didn't have to host a post about Sheffield United, given they aren't my team! I also love watching Gymnastics, and have been astounded by our success this year. Huge congratulations to all of our team, and Bryony Page getting her surprise silver in the Trampolining.
Also loved watching the Brownlee brothers, although I promise if my boss is reading, I was working more than watching Thursday afternoon, I promise! And also agree the Omnium cycling is oddly addictive.
About Katey Lovell
Katey Lovell is fanatical about words. An avid reader, writer and poet, she once auditioned for Countdown and still tapes the show every night. Getting the conundrum before the contestants is her ultimate thrill.
She loves love and strives to write feel-good romance that'll make you laugh and cry in equal measure.
Originally from South Wales, Katey now lives in Yorkshire with her husband and son.
Twitter - @katey5678
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Katey's latest book is out on 7th October and looks like it will be a must for all musical lovers, and is a book I am really looking forward to reading.
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