Irish Olympian Ellis O'Reilly announces retirement

Updated / Monday, 9 Oct 2017 16:57

Ellis O'Reilly in action at the 2016 Rio Games

Ellis O’Reilly, who made history as becoming the first Irish female gymnast to qualify for the Olympic Games last year in Brazil, has announced her retirement at the age of 19.

A multiple national champion, O’Reilly made her international bow three years ago at the European Championships.

She subsequently participated in two World Championships, two World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, the inaugural Baku Games in 2015 and was also a three-time silver medallist at the Northern European Championships.

O’Reilly hopes her historic achievement in qualifying for the Rio Games can inspire the next generation of young female gymnasts and admits that she surpassed her own expectations during her career.

"My advice to younger gymnasts is to continue working hard in the gym even when it gets hard and you will feel like giving up," she said.

"I hope my achievements have inspired younger gymnasts that anything is possible, and therefore to always believe in themselves."

"You will have highs and lows throughout your career, but without the lows it would not push you to be a better gymnast. I never thought I would even make it to a world championship let alone an Olympic Games, but with the help and support around me it became a reality.

"I hope my achievements have inspired younger gymnasts that anything is possible, and therefore to always believe in themselves."

O’Reilly intends to continue her university studies and pursue her ambition of becoming a PE teacher.