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British gymnast Ellie Downie retires at 23 for 'mental health, happiness'

January 23, 2023
British gymnast Ellie Downie, a former European champion, on Monday retired at age of 23 to prioritize her
British gymnast Ellie Downie, a former European champion, on Monday retired at age of 23 to prioritize her "mental health and happiness." (Twitter @elliedownie)

LONDON — British gymnast Ellie Downie, a former European champion, on Monday retired at age of 23 to prioritize her "mental health and happiness."

"With a heavy heart and an array of emotions, today is the day I announce my retirement from gymnastics! To say it's been a difficult decision is a massive understatement, but after a really tough last few years, I've made the decision to prioritise my mental health and happiness," Downie said on Twitter.

"Gymnastics has been my life for as long as I can remember and I'm proud of everything I was fortunate enough to achieve in the sport.

"Competing and winning medals for Great Britain has meant everything and more to me and I'll miss it enormously," she added.

During her career, Downie won 12 medals including a gold medal in all-round category during the 2017 European Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Cluj-Napoca, Romania.

In 2021, her brother Josh suffered from a heart attack during a cricket training to die.

Following her brother's sudden death, Team Great Britain athlete Downie did not go to the Tokyo 2020 Summer Olympics, which was delayed to 2021 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Ellie and her sister Becky said in 2020 that abuse in Great Britain gymnastics was "completely normalised." — Agencies


January 23, 2023
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