Olympic athlete Rosie MacLennan has already made history as the first trampolinist to ever win back-to-back Olympic gold medals, the first Canadian to successfully defend an Olympic title at the summer Games, and the first Canadian woman to win two gold medals in an individual event at the summer Games. As she heads to Tokyo 2021, Rosie could once again claim a first.
This year’s summer Olympics will be Rosie’s fourth games, and they offer her a unique opportunity — the chance to win an unprecedented third straight gold medal. (Rowers Marnie McBean and Kathleen Heddle won two gold medals back-to-back, but in different events.)
“It’s not the centre of my focus. I know it’s an opportunity that’s there, but I’ve never gone into a competition pursuing gold,” MacLennan said in an interview with CBC. “I go into every competition with the intention to do the best that I can on that day and see where it lands me.
“Thinking about outcomes and results puts so much emphasis on things that are out of your control. And when I go into competition, I’m always constantly just trying to focus on what I can control. And that’s my attitude.”
Rosie has fought hard to reach this point in her athletic career. She has had to overcome serious injuries, including multiple concussions and a broken ankle. Her concussions led to a loss of spatial awareness in the air, chronic headaches, memory issues, speech issues, and anxiety and depression, all of which impacted her confidence. Rosie decided not to compete at the 2017 world championships, but returned fully healthy in 2018, where she won her second career world title in the individual event.
In April 2019 during a World Cup in Belarus, Rosie broke her ankle during her set. Though not fully recovered, she still participated in the world championships where she won a bronze medal to secure her spot at the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, postponed to 2021.
Rosie has spoken openly about her mental health struggles. She joined Bell Let’s Talk in 2020 to share her battle with anxiety and how she is working to overcome it both at home and in competition.
We’ll certainly be cheering her on as she heads to Tokyo to compete in the 2021 games, opening on July 23.