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How British Gymnastics Has Failed Becky Downie

Watching any gymnastic event has always been something I have enjoyed, and this year’s Olympics have been no different. Growing up, gymnastics was my go-to hobby ever since primary school, and although I said goodbye to my rhinestone leotards during college, my love for the sport has always remained. 

It’s evident that this year’s Olympic Games have been tough on the world’s top athletes, but more so on black women competitors. From Simone Biles to Katarina Johnson-Thompson, knowing when to put yourself first isn’t always the easiest choice to make. But when watching this year’s gymnastic events, cheering on Team GB dealt me some difficult feelings – how do I support an organisation that has failed black women?

In the world of gymnastics, I had always looked up to Becky Downie as a role model. The 29-year-old, Nottingham-born gymnast provided me, and others, with the necessary representation in a sport overflowing with petite, slim, white women. However, when it was announced that Becky didn’t make the Olympic team this year, for many her omission felt personal.