Glasgow holds happy memories for European Champion Ellie Downie
Gymnastics star Ellie Downie wants to add to her impressive European medal collection when the Glasgow 2018 European Championships arrive at The SSE Hydro next summer.
The 17-year-old has fond memories of the arena, where she made history as part of the first-ever Great Britain team to win a global team medal, bronze, at the World Gymnastics Championships back in 2015.
Since then Ellie’s form has continued to hit new heights and she won four medals at the 2017 European Gymnastics Championships in Romania in April, including a historic gold medal in the all-around event.
With next year’s European Championships taking place in Scotland as part of the Glasgow 2018 European Championships – an exciting new multi-sport event featuring athletes from six sports – the Nottingham-born star is hoping a home crowd can spur her on to even more medal triumphs.
“It’s going to be amazing to perform on home soil,” she said. “The SSE Hydro is a very memorable arena for me, it’s where we won our first team medal, so it will be nice to be back there.
“I think the atmosphere is going to be incredible with the home crowd, and there’s going to be a lot of hype around it.
“It is a multi-sport event, instead of just being gymnastics, so we will be able to interact with all the other athletes and that will create even more of a buzz.
“It’s going to be unreal going in as reigning all-around champion. I’ve never been in that position before at a European Championships so it will be different in that respect, but it will still be really exciting.”
Ellie was just 15-years-old when she burst onto the big stage by becoming the first British woman to win an individual all-around medal with a bronze at the 2015 European Gymnastics Championships in Montpellier.
Impressive performances at the Gymnastics World Cup and 2016 European Gymnastics Championships soon followed and Ellie was rewarded with a place in the British squad for the Rio 2016 Olympic Games alongside her sister Becky.
Ellie’s historic performance at the 2017 European Championships – where she qualified for every individual final - has drawn even more praise for the youngster. But she’s keeping her feet firmly on the ground for now.
“It was an absolutely crazy week with one thing happening after another,” said Downie on her performance in Romania.
“The all-around was definitely really unexpected for me, and then to go on to medal at four out of five finals was just insane.
“I always knew I was good, but knowing that I am the all-around champion of Europe is mad, and even when I come into training now, I just think 'did I even do that?'
“I feel that when you achieve success, there are more eyes on you at the next competition. But I think I will just take it in my stride and not let it get to me – I’ll just compete like I normally do.”
Next on the agenda for Ellie is a place at the 2017 World Gymnastics Championships, which take place in Montreal, Canada in October.
She added: “The Worlds are coming round very quick. I’ve had some time off after the Euros so I’m just getting back into a routine now.
“If I was to medal at the Worlds, it would be absolutely unreal. I go into every competition just aiming to do my best, and then wherever I end up, I end up.”
Tickets for Gymnastics at the Glasgow 2018 European Championships are now on sale with prices starting at just £15 for adults and £9.50 for concessions (booking fees apply). This is your chance to see the best male and female gymnasts on the continent compete to become European Champions at The SSE Hydro.
View the full sports schedule and purchase tickets here.
Image credit: Alan Edwards, British Gymnastics