Brittany Rogers has been a fixture on the Canadian national women’s artistic gymnastics team since making her senior international debut at the 2007 Pan American Games in Rio de Janeiro, BRA. It seemed fitting somehow then that she was able to return to Rio this past summer – this time as part of her second Canadian Olympic team. Rogers made her Olympic debut at the 2012 Olympic Games in London where she played a key role in the team’s best-ever team finish of 5th, and finished 7th overall in the vault finals. In-between Olympic Games, Rogers attended the University of Georgia where she was named a first team All-American five times and was the NCAA champion on the uneven bars in 2016. Now back at University, Brittany will be looking to complete her degree this spring, and then hopefully compete for Canada at the 2017 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Montreal next October.
NAME: Brittany Rogers HOMETOWN: Vancouver, British Columbia CURRENT RESIDENCE: Athens, Georgia, USA
How did you first get involved in gymnastics?
My mom tells everyone that I was able to climb on the monkey bars before I could walk, and that I was a very high-energy child, so my parents wanted me to spend my energy elsewhere rather than jumping around in the house. I had many hospital visits full of stitches and bumping my head because I was constantly moving, so gymnastics seemed to be the perfect fit.
You’ve been involved with gymnastics for quite a while now. What has kept you engaged with the sport for so long (why do you love it!)?
Gymnastics is a sport that you can never stop improving at. As most gymnasts are, I am quite the perfectionist, so doing a sport that highlights perfection has kept me engaged because I strive for perfection. Gymnastics has always been something I claim to be my own and that no one can take away from me, so I treat it as an escape, and who doesn’t love a good escape? I love gymnastics because it has provided me with so many amazing opportunities and life skills that may not have been presented to me had I not joined the sport 20 years ago. I think, as I have gotten older, I have become a better educated athlete, which has helped me improve in the gym and allows me to love it more and more as times passes.
What advice would you give to young gymnasts looking to make the leap into elite gymnastics? What have you been your keys to success?
Never quit on a bad day. You are a human first, and humans can’t be their best 100% of the time. As long as you love what you are doing and are giving your best effort everyday, nothing can stop you from achieving your dreams.
What was the biggest lesson you learned from your rookie Olympics in London?
I learned that it was okay to enjoy myself and soak in experiences, as long as I am focused when it’s go time. I learned how to be a better teammate, and how much I loved competing for my teammates and my country, and the success of the team was the greatest satisfaction of the Games.
What was the biggest lesson you learned from the Rio Olympics where you returned as a veteran of the team?
I learned how to be a leader and to help the younger girls whenever I could, and took what I learned in London and put the team first on and off the mats. I learned that everybody makes mistakes and as long as I performed to the best of my abilities and did the best I could in that very moment, then to be proud of myself and be thankful for every opportunity.
What 3 qualities do you possess that you think make you a successful gymnast?
The ability to take critique and feedback and apply it to your gymnastics as best as you can
Discipline, determination, and positive self talk
The ability to come back after a bad day/mistake
What are your favourite things to do outside of gymnastics? (Hobbies, other sports, etc.)
I always like to be involved in gymnastics somehow whether it is coaching or choreographing. I love dogs so I am always finding a new trail/body of water to take my dogs walking on. I love fashion so I love to shop. I love to play other sports like throwing around a baseball or a football, although I am pretty terrible at both, but I still enjoy trying new sports!
You’ll be finishing your degree at the University of Georgia shortly – what are your career plans after graduation?
After I graduate I hope to stay in Sports/Gymnastics somehow, so my dream job would be to be a Sports Broadcaster/Reporter, or a News Reporter. I am graduating with a Journalism degree so I hope to continue on that path and stay in the field of telecommunications and TV!
You’ve said you’ll be staying in the sport until at least the 2017 Worlds in Montreal – why is it important for you to compete at home? Why should people come out to see the competition?
World Championships have only been held in Canada once before, and ever since I was a part of the historic 5th place finish in London, I have always wanted to carry on the tradition and be a part of the growth of Gymnastics Canada and I think having Worlds in Canada will contribute to the growth. The improvement I have seen and been a part of is so inspiring and I want to continue to contribute and give back to the country that has given me so much. The best of the best will be coming to our amazing country to showcase their talents, and having the opportunity to compete or be a spectator at our fingertips is too amazing to pass up. Like I said, World Championships being held in Canada, let alone North America, doesn’t happen very often so it is definitely a competition you won’t want to miss! It is a great way to show the rest of the World how remarkable Canada really is.
Why do you think gymnastics is THE foundation sport (i.e. why should kids get involved?)
I will always encourage parents of young children to enroll their children in gymnastics. It is a great way to initiate coordination, which is used in every sport. It starts the habit of being active early in life, which will help them stay active as they get older. It is fun and full of challenges and broadens skills easily. It also promotes discipline and work ethic, both of which I will always credit to gymnastics for teaching me. These qualities will always be helpful in everyday life, in and out of the gym.
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