Gymnast Amy Tinkler was the British beam champion back in 2012 and was part of Great Britain's silver medal-winning team at the 2013 European Youth Olympic Festival in the Netherlands. In the same year she also won double silver and a gold at the Australian Youth Olympic Festival. Since then Amy has also won two silvers and one bronze at the 2014 Junior European Championships, while in 2015 she joined the senior competition and helped Great Britain bag the bronze in the World Championships team final.
Amy will hopefully be representing Team GB in this summer’s Olympic Games in Rio. Ahead of the Games, the gymnast tells us how she first got into the sport, how she’s preparing for Rio and what her hopes for the Games are.
HOW DID YOU FIRST GET INTO GYMNASTICS?
I first got into sport when I was only two years old, when my mum took me to gymnastics classes at South Durham gym club. By the age of five I was in the elite classes and had my first competition at the age of seven.
WHAT ARE YOUR AMBITIONS FOR RIO?
At the minute my main goal is to make the team, and then my ambition is to help the team qualify into final and fight for a medal. We haven’t won an Olympic team medal since 1928 so it would be amazing to win again alongside my teammates.
WHO IS IN YOUR SUPPORT NETWORK AND HOW DO THEY HELP YOU?
I have a huge support network that help in all aspects of my life, both in and out of gymnastics. Obviously my parents are there for me in every single way, and then there are my coaches who have helped guide me and who are pretty much partners in my career. My teammates and friends are also always there to cheer me up when I need it. They help to take my mind off of training too. British Gymnastics provide me with everything I need to be at my best, which includes medical support, psychological support, as well as performance and lifestyle tips too. UK Sport and the UK National Lottery are obviously behind everyone’s journey!
WHAT DOES YOUR TRAINING PLAN LOOK LIKE? WHAT ARE THE HOURS AND HOW INTENSE IS IT?
My training plan is pretty intense leading up to Rio. I train 31 hours a week (which is six days a week) plus also have to fit in my school work. Leading up to Rio Team GB will be at Lilleshall National Sports Centre for four weeks before flying out, which will be quite intense but it's nice to be around the team as well. We're all going through the same thing so it's great to be able to bond together.
WHAT DOES YOUR MEAL PLAN/DIET CONSIST OF?
Every athlete's diet is different. Each person needs totally different types of food. Generally I have a high-energy breakfast, like porridge or muesli, then for lunch I have a small amount of carbs with protein and veg or salad, and for dinner I would have protein to aid recovery from training and then some more veg.
WHO IS YOUR OLYMPIC ROLE MODEL AND WHY?
My Olympic role model would have to be Beth Tweddle. She is a great inspiration! Outside of gymnastics my role model would have to be Usain Bolt, I love his confidence and how calm he is before competitions.