Olympic Gymnast And Mom Of 2 Chellsie Memmel Is Headed To Olympic Trials


32-year-old mother of two, Chellsie Memmel is coming out of retirement to go back to her sport, gymnastics.

Memmel is a former Olympic gymnast, now competing again after nine years of retirement. She hopes her journey to getting back to being a high competitive gymnast will encourage others to not give up on their dreams.

"Go for it," she told Savannah Guthrie and Hoda Kotb on TODAY Tuesday. "That's been the whole thing for me in this journey is figuring out what I can do, what I can push myself to do just out of love of doing it." She continues, "And I really think that we generally are just the only people holding ourselves back. It's not somebody else. There is attitudes about things or certain expectations that you can't do things when you get to this age, but ultimately I feel like we tend to hold ourselves back because we listen to that, so just go for it."

Above is Memmel performing on the balance beam during the U.S. Classic in Indianapolis on May 22.

After winning an Olympic silver medal, this past U.S. Classic was her first competition since 2012. She scored a 13.750 on the vault and a 11.800 on beam after a stumble.

"I've had a couple of days to kind of take it all in, and it still feels a little bit surreal, like I can't believe I just competed," she said.

At first Memmel was just trying to stay in shape at her family's gym in Wisconsin. "... I just started doing gymnastics more and more and kind of seeing what my body could do," she said. "Can I handle it, can I do some of the skills that I used to before, and then it was like, can I push the envelope and learn some skills? And it just kind of kept happening, and I was continuing to just have so much fun that I kept going."

Memmel is now getting ready for the U.S. Championships in Fort Worth, Texas, then the U.S. Olympic trials in St. Louis at the end of June. While she may not make the Tokyo Olympics, she is being given a chance to qualify. But does she think she can do it?

"Sometimes yes, sometimes no because I know how hard it is to make that team, I know the talent that we have in this country," she said. "I know how many other good gymnasts that there are, so I have just this great appreciation for everybody who is training, so I know that it will be a battle."

Memmel was on the U.S. Olympic team at the Beijing Olympics in 2008 and was the world all-around champion in 2005.


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