News / Halifax

Silver linings: Halifax gymnast Ellie Black on historic world championship medal, home support

Ellie Black says her silver medal shows just how far Canadian gymnastics has come, and hopes to inspire the next generation.

Women's individual all-around silver medalist Elsabeth Black of Canada holds up her medal at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships Friday, October 6, 2017 in Montreal.

Paul Chiasson / The Canadian Press

Women's individual all-around silver medalist Elsabeth Black of Canada holds up her medal at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships Friday, October 6, 2017 in Montreal.

A historic silver medal for Halifax’s own Ellie Black may have not meant the top of the podium, but competing in front of a home crowd and showing young people that hard work pays off is “more important than focusing on trying to win all the time.”

Black won all-around silver at the artistic gymnastics world championships in Montreal on Friday (Canada's first-ever medal in the all-arounds) just losing out to new champion Morgan Hurd of the United States by .101 points in the week-long tournament.

“I couldn’t be upset with that at all. To be in the silver medal position, so many people would love to be (there). It’s a really tough sport, you can’t think about all the ‘what-ifs’ … I was just over the moon ecstatic with that result,” Black said Monday en route to N.S.

After that silver highlight Friday, a few mistakes cost the 22-year-old higher results throughout the weekend as Black finished eighth on the balance beam and seventh in the floor exercises. She also finished fourth on the vault.

Black competes in the uneven bars event of the women's individual all-around final at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Montreal on Friday, Oct. 6, 2017.

THE CANADIAN PRESS/Paul Chiasson

Black competes in the uneven bars event of the women's individual all-around final at the Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Montreal on Friday, Oct. 6, 2017.

But Black said for those young people looking up to her, it’s important to show them that no one is perfect, and even if you make a mistake it’s not the end of the world since that often gives you the drive to “get back up and keep fighting.”

“You want to enjoy what you’re doing … not all the event finals went exactly as you’d hope for it to go, but I was so excited to be up there and just having that opportunity to compete representing Canada. These are moments that I’m never going to forget,” Black said.

“That is almost more important than focusing on trying to win all the time.”

Black said the mere fact that Canada was competing amongst the best in the world and making final rounds in multiple events is exciting after years of a “steady incline” in Canadian gymnastics, leading to this moment where our athletes have broken in the sport’s top level.

She also said it was a “once in a lifetime” chance to feel the home team support in Montreal, and hopes her performance shows young people in all sports and walks of life that even if success doesn’t come “as fast as you want it to,” if you keep working hard and setting goals you can reach them — no matter where you come from.

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