Hot off the heels of capturing the seniors women’s title at the Canadian Championships, Samantha Smith took another huge step towards qualifying for the 2020 Olympic Games in Tokyo. She performed a fantastic routine on the trampoline at 2019 Pan American Games, scoring a 53.735 and earning her the gold medal.
The next big step in Smith’s athletic achievements will be competing at World Championships
When asked about what competing at Worlds means to her, Smith said “for me, Worlds is really important because I’m looking to qualify for the 2020 Tokyo Olympics.”
Smith will be working to sharpen some skills leading up to that competition, adding, “I’m just looking to hone in on my technique. I’m hoping I can add a little bit of height and a little bit to my form score, and I’ll be working on my kick-outs.”
In terms of long-term goals, Smith’s got her sights set on the world stage, stating “If I qualify for the Olympics from there, my goal if I make the [Olympics] finals is to do a world record difficulty routine.”
Smith is a physiotherapist by day, stating her career has positively impacted her athletic achievements. Her boss is a strength and conditioning coach, and she’s been seeing a colleague for therapy, “so it’s almost like I have a personal team,” adding “it’s been really neat to benefit from the expertise of all the people I work with”.
Smith had some valuable parting advice for young athletes; “just keep going. Sport naturally has a lot of ups and downs, but we’re so lucky to have the opportunity to do it now, and gymnastics is not [a sport] you can easily go back to when you’re older. You just need to find people who can help you manage the challenges of training with life.” And ah, how rewarding it is when you reap the rewards.
Canadian gymnastics fans, keep your eyes out for Smith over the coming months–she’s one to watch!
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