Photo courtesy of Grace Chiu
Last October, Charlotte Mackie competed in her second World Championships. Still adjusting to a new coach and new techniques, she competed just three apparatus in Rotterdam (sitting out bars). One of David Kenwright's first moves was to put Charlotte in grips, and start reworking her bar technique.
Historically, most World team members are given a bye from competing at Elite Canada, their carding and eligibility secured. That year, with Elite Canada ranked so much higher than World Championships, Charlotte's attendance and performance at Elite Canada were crucial for carding points. She impressed with a third place finish in the all-around, and posted the second highest score on vault and top 5 on bars - not bad, for an apparatus she didn't even compete two months prior!
Everything changed on her last apparatus, vault. Her all-around tally secured from her first vault, Charlotte went for a second vault, to qualify for apparatus finals. She suffered a horrific crash - one that has taken her out of competition, ever since.
In this exclusive, Gymn.ca asks the question many fans are wondering, "Is Charlotte coming back to Gymnastics?"
Gymn.ca: Can you briefly describe the injury? What's the current status?
Charlotte: I had a fracture/dislocation of 1st, 2nd, 3rd tarsal-metatarsal joints (Lisfranc fracture). I had plates and hardware put in December 15th, 2010 and they were removed on June 9th, 2011. I am now recovered from the second surgery and am starting up physio and rehab again. This will go on for quite a while. I have just started back in the gym doing conditioning, choreography, bars and a few individual skills on tumble track. I have some strengthening to do before being able to run and jump.
Gymn.ca: Are you hoping to return to competitive gymnastics once cleared to train?
Charlotte: Yes, that's my goal.
Gymn.ca: I understand that you're planning to enroll at UBC.
Charlotte: Yes, I've been accepted into UBC for September 2011. I'm registered in a variety of courses for the fall semester while I train for the 2012 season.
I decided against NCAA for several reasons. I chose to stay and train with my coach, David Kenwright, hoping to qualify for the 2012 Olympics. I am so fortunate to have found him as a coach and I have only just started working with him [since February 2009]. Also, Canada has some great universities and I wanted to take full advantage of our university education system. This also gives me a great opportunity to focus on elite gymnastics while pursuing university studies.
I am so fortunate to have a great coaching team (David and Dorina) and such a supportive club (Flicka), family, as well as great sports therapists. They have all helped me through this injury. David has been so incredibly supportive, encouraging and patient throughout my injury.
I'm planning on finishing my degree at UBC.
Gymn.ca: To date, what is your favourite memory from your years competing Elite gymnastics?
Charlotte: There are so many great memories. One of my favorite memories would be competing at my first World Championships in London, in 2009. Competing in the same venue (the O2 arena) where the 2012 Olympics will be held was not only exciting, but fun too.
[Aside from hanging around the O2] we went shopping on Oxford Street, of course! We toured around downtown London a lot - London bridge and Tower Bridge. After the competition I met up with my parents in London, and we traveled to Rome and the Amalfi Coast for a week. It was a great trip!
Like many Freshmen heading off to university, Charlotte is leaving home to move closer to campus. She'll share a condo with older siblings Gael and Owen.
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Links: Official website
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