Irish Olympian Ellis O'Reilly retires from gymnastics
9th October 2017, 00:00a.m. | International
09th October 2017, Sport HQ, Dublin, Ireland: Irish Olympian Ellis O’Reilly who made history as becoming the first Irish female to qualify for an Olympic Games in gymnastics at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games has announced her retirement from the sport.
The 19-year-old gymnast is retiring after 13 years of dedication and achievements. O'Reilly has a number of national titles to her name and was the 2014, 2015 & 2016. All Around Irish Champion. She made her International senior debut in Sofia, Bulgaria in 2014 at the European Championships. Since then Ellis 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.
Speaking of inspiring younger gymnasts, O'Reilly commented: ‘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. 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.’
Speaking of her retirement, Gymnastics Ireland’s CEO Mr. Ciaran Gallagher said ‘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 going into Tokyo 2020 and beyond. 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’
Ellis continues to visit her team mates and coaches at her former gymnastics club as it is still a big part of her life. O'Reilly’s future plans are to continue with her university course which will lead her to becoming a PE teacher.