Through her training, dedication and humility, elite gymnast Georgia Godwin has earned herself an Olympic quota spot at Tokyo 2020. The 22-year-old gymnast has impressed audiences across the world through her outstanding performances on floor, beam, vault and bars.
She reflects; ‘There’s been a lot of ups and downs throughout my gymnastic career and so to have earned a quota spot to the Tokyo Olympic Games makes the tough journey and sacrifices worth it.’
The gymnast started training from the age of 3, but wasn’t always competitively set on the Olympic games.
‘Before I started training as an elite athlete, gymnastics was the perfect sport for me to channel all of my energy into,’ she states.
‘Once I moved to Brisbane to start competing at a more elite level in 2008, that’s when my goal changed and the dream of competing at an Olympics set in.’
In 2014, Godwin landed her first International titles when she came first place the Team and All-Around Individual competition at the Nadia Comaneci Invitational International. She was then elected in 2016 to represent Australia at the Elite Gym Massilia event, where she placed 5th in the floor finals. Godwin truly cemented her status as a powerhouse when she won the Silver medal at the Melbourne World Cup in 2017.
‘I definitely do feel pressure at times; like there’s an expectation for me to always perform flawlessly, but I’ve found my own ways to try and cope with it over the years,’ Godwin admits.
‘I’m grateful to have a strong support network around me. Before a big competition I’ll turn off my phone and remind myself to not to let the thought of giving a perfect performance overshadow the importance of also enjoying the moment.’
Godwin’s admirable level of dedication is similarly reflected in how she faces setbacks.
She has had multiple stress fractures in her back, shins and shoulders, but has persisted through each surgery to continue achieving her goals. After an injury in 2017, she later went on to represent Australia at her second World Championships in Montreal where she placed 13th overall.
‘I believe having confidence and perseverance is vital for any athlete. Elite sports involves pretty intense training regimes and sometimes that can really challenge your motivation.’
Godwin continued her incredible track record through winning one silver and two bronze medals at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games. She earned her Olympic spot at the 2019 World Championships in Stuttgart and most recently won silver for floor at the 2019 Toyota International Competition.
Even with all of these achievements, Godwin remains humble about her impact on the gymnastics world whilst recognising the significance of acting as a leader.
‘It’s really humbling to know that there are young gymnasts and athletes that look to me as a role model.’
‘I think role models are also important because each person brings their own story to their sport and has a unique journey of successes, setbacks and overcoming difficult times that others can learn from.’
Story: Gabrielle Egan