Name: Becky Downie & Ellie Downie
Age: 16 & 23
Nationality & Hometown: Nottingham, Great Britain
Becky competed in the Beijing 2008 Olympic Games and finished in 12th place in the individual All-Around. She has won multiple British titles and been a key figure in the senior GB team for over a decade. In 2014 Becky took the Commonwealth Games Team and Bars gold along with the European Championships Bars title. This year she won European Bars and Beam silver medals.
In 2013 Ellie won Junior European and European Youth Olympic Vault gold and in 2014 took four medals at the Youth Olympic Games. Ellie turned senior in 2015 and took the All-Around bronze medal at the British and European Championship.
Q & A
How did your passion for gymnastics begin?
Becky: I got in to gymnastics through my friend at school. When I watched gymnastics on TV or went to British Championships. I always knew I wanted to be No.1 and that was my aim. I won my first British title age 12 and the ball started rolling from there and I wanted to keep improving.
Is the 2016 Olympics a realistic prospect for you?
Ellie: I will have more experience next year as I will be second year senior, I am looking forward to trying to make the team for Rio.
Becky: Yeah, definitely. For me this is probably my last opportunity and the team is in the best place it has ever been. An individual bar medal is the long term goal, so everything for me is going in the right direction. Fingers crossed I can stay fit and everything can come together.
What would it be like for both to have a place in the team for the Rio?
Becky: We have known for a good few years it is a possibility but now it is becoming a lot more real which is exciting. Last year and this year, we have both established ourselves in the gymnastics world for the GB team and feel like we are really strong contenders for the team. We just support each other 100%. If everything goes well, there is no reason why we both can’t be there.
What is it like to watch your younger sister compete?
Becky: It’s a very different emotion when it is family. You always cheer on your teammates but being sisters is very different. You do have that bond and it does take the energy out of you just watching each other compete.
How do you keep going through the tough times?
Becky: I have been through multiple injuries and had lots of time out and you can learn from it. I have learned a lot more from the down times than the good times and I feel as if I have tried to pass a lot of that knowledge on to Ellie.
What are your hopes and dreams for the future?
Ellie: I definitely want to have a long career in the sport. I would say I am trying to go for Rio and then aim for the 2018 Commonwealth Games. Depending on how I feel after that I will decide whether I want to go to an American university to do a gym scholarship or carry on here.
Becky: Long term I would love to have my own gym. I don’t know whether I want to coach recreationally or youngsters to elite level. I want to coach as I have a lot of knowledge and a huge passion for the sport, which I have always had, and it would be hard to walk away from it totally.
Away from Gymnastics what are your other passions?
Ellie: I like fashion design and so does Becky; we both like that kind of thing, shopping and family time. We are away quite a lot, so it’s good to get home and spend that quality time with them.
What do you think of Glasgow the city?
Becky: The last time we were in Glasgow (Commonwealth Games) we were just competing or at the Village, so hopefully this time in Glasgow we will be able to spend more time and see more of the city.
What was it like to do the iconic photographs?
Ellie: It was definitely an experience. I hadn’t been on a street in a leotard before but it was really fun!
Becky and Ellie will be competing as part of the GB women’s team in the Team final on Tuesday 27 October. Ellie has also qualifies for the Floor and Vault apparatus finals on Saturday 31 October.
Tickets are still available from: http://www.2015worldgymnastics.com/tickets.aspx
photos Janos Schmidt
photos Janos Schmidt