Innaloo gymnast sets sights on Commonwealth Games and Olympics selection

Gabe O'Sullivan (20) is pushing for 2018 Commonwealth Games and 2020 Toyko Olympics selection. Picture: Andrew Ritchie
Innaloo gymnast sets sights on Commonwealth Games and Olympics selection
Gabe O'Sullivan (20) is pushing for 2018 Commonwealth Games and 2020 Toyko Olympics selection. Picture: Andrew Ritchie

A “SENSE of mastery” has inspired an Innaloo gymnast to chase after a spot in Australia’s 2018 Commonwealth Games and 2020 Tokyo Olympics teams.

Gabe O’Sullivan (20) started gymnastics at the age of five and represented Australia at junior level on many occasions including the 2014 Youth Olympics, where he was a reserve.

Two years into his senior career, he has graduated from the pommel horse to focus on all-around apparatuses- where he competes in floor, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bar and horizontal bar.

The Balcatta-based Northern Districts Gymnastics Club member won the all-around senior division at the Autumn State Championships earlier this month.

O’Sullivan said he wanted to improve his form at the 2017 Australian Gymnastics Championships next weekafter recovering from an elbow injury.

“It has been really hard to maintain consistent routines because we ramp up the pressure and it is just much more intense and fun,” he said.

“I am just hoping by the time that we get to nationals, it is going to get much, much better because I have hopes to be one of the best in Australia.

“If I can place in the top three at nationals, then I would say I would be in better contention for a spot in a team somewhere.”

The ECU psychology student, who coached at the Balcatta club and in Armadale, said he wanted to inspire the next generation of gymnasts.

“It is really good fun and a demanding job but it is so rewarding when you see them improve,” he said.

“When I was a young boy, I just remember seeing the Australian senior team and wanting to be with those guys; they were so cool.

“So now, I am in the contention to be on that team.”

He said gymnastics was hard and it was an “ongoing battle” to balance with study, work and life.

“I feel like it is very much the case that I love the sport because the feeling of accomplishment it gives me and the sense of mastery and purpose,” he said.

“No matter what else happens outside the gymnastics world…this is something I can control and I love to control.

“The feeling that I get when I compete, it is just so exhilarating and it makes you feel like you are a master of this moment.”

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