Ireland's first female Olympic gymnast retires after 13 years

Ireland's first female Olympic gymnast retires after 13 years

Irish Olympian Ellis O'Reilly has announced her retirement from gymnastics.

The 19-year-old, who made history by becoming the first Irish female to qualify for an Olympic Games in gymnastics at the Rio 2016 Olympic Games, is retiring after 13 years.

She won three national titles in 2014, 2015 and 2016, represented Ireland in two World Championships, two European Championships in Bulgaria in 2014 and at the inaugural Baku Games in 2015.

Ellis was also a three-time silver medallist at the Northern European Championships.

She said: "My advice to younger gymnasts is to continue working hard in the gym even when it gets hard and you will feel like giving up.

"You will have highs and lows throughout your career, but without the lows it would not push you to be a better gymnast.

I never thought I would even make it to a world championship let alone an Olympic Games, but with the help and support around me it became a reality. I hope my achievements have inspired younger gymnasts that anything is possible, and therefore to always believe in themselves."

Gymnastics Ireland’s CEO, Ciaran Gallagher, said her historic qualification for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games put women's gymnastics on the map in the eyes of the Irish public and opened the door for future generations of talented young Irish girls.

He said: "We wish her well in the exciting new challenges she undertakes and have no doubt she will still stay connected to our exciting sport despite stepping back from her competitive career.

"Ellis continues to visit her team mates and coaches at her former gymnastics club as it is still a big part of her life."

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