Olympic Games: Sheffield's Bryony Page banishes demons ahead of Tokyo
Bryony Page feared her trampolining gymnastics career had spun dramatically out of control after soaring to silver at Rio 2016.
But the Sheffield-based ace is back in the big time and says she’s never been hungrier to bounce all the way to Olympic glory in Tokyo this summer.
Page scooped individual silver in Brazil five years ago and has been officially selected alongside Laura Gallagher in Team GB’s trampolining team for Japan.
An ankle injury after Rio left her having major doubts but Page, a 2013 team world champion, says those demons have been firmly banished ahead of her second shot at gold.
The 30-year-old, who competes in Tokyo on July 30, said: “I went straight from the high of Rio, when I felt like I could do anything, to then going pretty much straight into injury rehab.
“That doubt just started to kick in about whether I was going to be able to get back to the standard I wanted to be at.“That was the hard bit. Then once I was able to get to a standard, I felt like I was back up and competing and just starting to be able to enjoy that again.
“That’s where the motivation came from – wanting to break that glass ceiling or wanting to break, and push past, what I've been able to achieve before.
“It feels a bit surreal that it's my second Olympics – I just would never have thought that I could do this, so it's really lovely and I'm so excited and proud to experience another Olympic Games.”
Page was crowned British champion three years running between 2013 and 2015 as she went into those Games in Brazil with momentum sky high.
But she was narrowly pipped to Rio nirvana by Canada's Rosie MacLennan, who racked up 56.465 to Page’s 56.040 to dash her hopes of a thrilling gold medal on debut.
That still marked the first time a British gymnast had won a trampolining Olympic medal and Page, who competed alongside Kat Driscoll in 2016, is now gunning for more this summer.
She says the support of British Gymnastics helped her navigate her way through lockdown and hopes the Games’ one-year postponement can catapult her to victory in Japan.
“I really struggled after my second operation and being out for that extra year that I didn’t expect with injury,” added Page, whose Tokyo tilt will be broadcast live on Eurosport and discovery+.
“Through Covid year last year, I felt mentally quite strong working through things with a psychologist and have had amazing support from British gymnastics and sport psychology.
“I found that having that extra year gave me a bit of an advantage to recover from being injured earlier in the cycle – I got physically fitter and mentally stronger as well.”
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