The year began on a sour note for Rosie MacLennan after suffering concussions and head injuries in the fall. This setback and her road to recovery only made her gold-medal finish with a score of 56.465 in women’s trampoline extra sweet.
And the highs kept on coming. MacLennan was named flag-bearer for Canada, had a personal meeting with the Prime Minister and led the Canadian team into Olympic stadium during the opening ceremonies in Rio. She is also part of a historic female-only hot streak that saw women dominating the podium at the Games until Andre De Grasse joined them with his sprint to bronze on day nine.
The gymnast is also creating and breaking records along the way. She’s the first Canadian summer athlete to win consecutive gold medals at the Games in the same event (in London 2012 and Rio 2016). She’s also the first Canadian flag-bearer since 1988 to win gold at the Games they’re competing in (synchronized swimmer Carolyn Waldo previously achieved this and was the first Canadian female to win two gold medals at the same games).
For Rosie, this sport is a family affair. She followed her older siblings to trampoline practice, and then never looked back. Leading up to the Games, MacLennan says, ‘my family is my constant anchor, and their support is unwavering and gives me a sense of calm.’ Her mother, Jane, has been an endless source of inspiration, and, yes, a chauffeur, too. From the time Rosie and her siblings could stand, her mom had created a reward chart at the cottage with activities they each had to complete three times, based on age. This proactive, goal-setting approach helped to motivate each child to strive for success. Today, MacLennan’s process-driven motto rings true: ‘Chase the dream, love the journey.’
This epic journey that MacLennan is on won’t end in Rio. ‘I still have the love for my sport and the drive and motivation to train,’ says MacLennan. ‘I plan to go back to the gym, and over the next year I’ll try new routines, and take more risks,’ says MacLennan.
With the support of her family and the enduring joy she receives from performing in the air, the back-to-back gold medal winner confirms, ‘I’m going to keep jumping.’ We may just see her in 2020 going for a hat trick.
Rosie MacLennan has teamed up with Tide for the ‘Small But Powerful’ campaign to support the next generation of Olympic athletes. She’s encouraging Canadians to get involved by donating to the Canadian Olympic Foundation (COF). Tide is kicking off the campaign with a $25,000 donation to the COF.
Grace Toby is a Toronto-based writer and editor. Her work has appeared in a variety of publications, including Best Health, Canadian Living, Chatelaine, House & Home and Today’s Parent. She is currently in Rio covering the Olympics and interviewing the Canadian athletes.
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