Australian Gymnastics team announced
When Australian gymnast Danielle Prince steps onto the mat at GC2018, the first thing that will run through her head is 'one more time'.
The Olympian and Commonwealth Games gold medallist has been selected as part of the team of six gymnasts competing on home soil this April.
Although Prince is sure to experience some nerves competing in front of a home crowd, the five-time all-around Australian Champion knows all the hard work has already been done.
She just needs to do her routine one more time.
"Before I go on for a routine, I try to visualise the routine in my head perfectly, so catching every single throw and even seeing myself stand up, finishing the routine and being happy with my performance," Prince told GC2018.com.
"We use a computer when playing our music for our routines and I remember looking at the iTunes play count of that song and its up in the thousands.
"So, when you walk out into the arena you have that in your mind.
You pretty much tell yourself, I’ve literally done this routine 5,362 times, I’ve just got to do it one more time."
The GC2018 Gymnastics Ambassador will also make history in April, being the first female Australian gymnast to compete at three Commonwealth Games.
As one of the elder team members heading to the Coomera Indoor Sports Centre, Prince knows the pressure that comes with competing at a major international sporting event but her experience lets her know how to manage it.
"I see sport psych every two weeks," Prince said.
"But it’s not just about competition and the high pressure that comes with it, but the work that’s being put in in the year and a half leading into a Games.
"That’s where the hard work is for gymnasts, is the work that goes on behind the scenes, the work that goes on well before the pressures of performing in an arena.
"The daily pressures, the daily grind and those kinds of things are talked about well before the performance pressures.
"As an athlete you need a lot of support in these areas as well."
A sport of grace, flexibility and coordination, the best female athletes around the Commonwealth have just 90 seconds each to perform their routine in each apparatus - the hoop, ball, clubs and ribbon - to aim for perfection.
And although spectators will be seeing the routine for the very first time, each athlete have put in hours upon hours of repetitive work and other training methods in order to achieve that perfect score.
"At the moment I train 30 hours a week," Prince explains.
"In a five-hour training session I’ll do strength, conditioning, flexibility – so a lot of stretching and even some ballet.
"Then we basically do my routines over and over and over again.
"So, 90 second routines repeated five to seven times.
"Gymnastics is basically to aim for perfection. Which means 100 repetitions of doing a move perfectly or catching an object every time."
Excessive repetitiveness is not for everyone but is one of the many reasons which drives the Business Management student to continue her sporting career.
That, and performing in front of a large crowd whilst representing her country.
"For me personally, it’s the big events, like the Commonwealth Games," Prince said.
"These events are at the forefront of your mind all the time, which helps you to keep pushing. They are ultimately your goals.
"As well, it’s that moment where you actually do get it perfect.
It might just be in training or it might be at a competition but that moment when you 100 per cent nail that routine, there’s just no feeling that can match that. It's the most satisfying part of my sport."
A reward which the Sydney resident is hoping to achieve on the Gold Coast, in what will be her last competition.
"To be able to perform in front of a home crowd and to finish my sporting career on such a high, will be incredible," Prince said.
Finishing her career in her home state, the Brisbane born gymnast is also excited to connect with the crowd and judges on a new level, with gymnasts now able to perform to music containing lyrics.
"Music plays a big part of your performance," she said.
"You have to love your music to perform well to it. Especially when you play it over and over, it’s a bit awkward if you don’t.
"In this last Olympic cycle, we’ve been able to use pieces of music with lyrics, which has added a whole new dimension to our sport.
"I feel like it engages the crowd a lot more as well as they are able to clap along and recognise the music we use now.
"Which has also increased the enjoyment in performing."
The music has also claimed Prince's favourite apparatus routine for GC2018.
"This year, going into Comm Games, we've changed three of my routines, but it will have to be my ball routine and I think it’s because of the music," Prince says.
"For my ball routine, I’m using Bonnie Tyler’s song Total Eclipse of the Heart and it’s just one of those songs that make people react with either ‘I love this song’ or ‘I know this song’ which helps them form that connection with the athlete and their performance.
"And I guess that’s what you want people to walk away with when they watch the sport."
Tickets for all Gymnastics sessions have been exhausted. You can still however be part of the biggest event Australia has seen this decade with tickets still available for sports including Athletics, Hockey, Weightlifting, Squash and Badminton.
The Australian Gymnastics team competing at GC2018 includes:
Men - Artistic:
- Christopher Remkes
- Luke Wadsworth
- Michael Mercieca
- Michael Tone
- Mitchell Morgans
Women - Artisitc
- Alexandra Eade
- Georgia Godwin
- Georgia-Rose Brown
- Emily Whitehead
- Rianna Mizzen
Women - Rhythmic
- Alexandra Kiroi-Bogatyreva
- Danielle Prince
- Enid Sung