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23-Year-Old Gymnast Shockingly Retires

Published 01/24/2023, 10:45 AM EST

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The Team GB gymnast, Ellie Downie, disclosed the shocking news of her retirement on Dr. Alex George’s latest Stompcast episode, where she also revealed the real reason that led her to take this huge decision. Although people are questioning gymnast Ellie Downie’s retirement announcement, the 23-year-old athlete does not regret her decision.

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The seeds of Downie’s early retirement were sowed in 2020, when she and her gymnast sister Becky alleged an “environment of fear and mental abuse,” at the elite level in British Gymnastics. Thus began the downfall of Downie’s gymnastic career, as well as, her mental health.

The truth that pushed Ellie Downie to retire


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In 2016, despite her rankings and ticking all the requirement boxes for qualification, Downie was a reserve for the women’s team, at the Gymnastics World Championships.


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A post shared by Ellie Downie (@elliedownie)

“I literally didn’t get out of bed for, like, three days. Besides, Downie revealed she always felt left out of the team, as the authorities also tried to bring her down. I didn’t train. I just felt mentally battered. I just didn’t know what direction I was going to go in. My life felt really out of control. Like, they were ultimately in control of my life, and if they weren’t ever going to select me for teams again, then what was the point?” questioned the gymnast. In the podcast, Downie explained how their allegations against the sport’s authorities soon began to affect her career negatively.


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Downie opened up more about the unusual treatment she had been receiving from the sports officials in the Stompcast. According to the gymnast, the British Gymnastics women’s artistic gymnastics national head coach, David Kenwright, also left her out of an email after the Championships.


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All this led Downie to depression, and gymnastics gave her joy anymore. “I just felt, am I ever going to make a team again? I don’t feel like I am. I still feel like I’m being penalized for what happened, which would have been two years beforehand. My mental state after that was low. I felt pretty worthless,” confessed Downie.

On the other hand, in a comment by British Gymnastics, the organization mentioned that after Downie’s revelations, they are looking into the matter and conduct of certain members of their coaching team. However, the damage is already done. Downie, who rose to stardom with her sister’s help, at just 16, does not feel connected to the sport anymore.


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The 12-time senior medallist feels more than relieved to retire from the sport. After many therapy sessions and the death of her 24-year-old cricketer brother, the athlete realized, “you just can’t keep going if you’re unhappy.” Hopefully, Ellie Downie will again live a happy life, post her retirement!

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Written by:

Soumya Bontra


One take at a time

Soumya Bontra is a US Sports author for EssentiallySports. She has been working as a sports journalist and writer for the past two years. Soumya has a Bachelor’s in Mass Media.
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Edited by:

Pritam Priyedarshi