She became Ireland’s first ever female Gymnast to qualify for the Olympic Games last year but this morning Ellis O’Reilly is waking up having retired from the sport at the tender age of only 19.
It seems strange to talk of leaving a legacy of inspiration at such a tender age but with Gymnastics continuing to grow in its appeal to younger girls as well as boys, O’Leary and before her Kieran Behan on the Men’s side have done just that.
O’Reilly has a number of national titles to her name and was 2014, 2015 and 2016 All-Around Irish Champion.
She made her International senior debut in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2014 at the European Championships and has attended two World Championships including the 2014 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Nanning, China and the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow.
She competed in the European Championships in Montpellier in 2015 and at the inaugural Baku Games in 2015. Ellis was also a three-time silver medallist at the Northern European Championships.
Being the first Irish female gymnast to ever qualify and compete at an Olympic Games in gymnastics at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games marked a moment that will inspire the next generation of young female Irish gymnasts.
“My advice to younger gymnasts is to continue working hard in the gym even when it gets hard and you will feel like giving up,” she said.
“You will have highs and lows throughout your career, but without the lows it would not push you to be a better gymnast. I never thought I would even make it to a world championship let alone an Olympic Games, but with the help and support around me it became a reality.”
“I hope my achievements have inspired younger gymnasts that anything is possible, and therefore to always believe in themselves.”
“Ellis’ historic qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games put women’s gymnastics on the map in the eyes of the Irish public and opened the door for future generations of talented young Irish girls who wish to follow in her footsteps heading towards Tokyo 2020 and beyond,” added Gymnastics Ireland CEO Ciaran Gallagher.
“We wish her well in the exciting new challenges she undertakes and have no doubt she will still stay connected to our exciting sport despite stepping back from her competitive career.”
O’Reilly’s future plans are to continue with her university course which will lead her to become a PE teacher.
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