Ashley Cooney ('Ash')

How old were you when you first started gymnastics?

I was four when I first enrolled in kindy gym. I started with the Western Australian Institute of Sport (WAIS) when I was six.

What was your favourite part about doing gymnastics?

Bars was without a doubt my favourite apparatus.  I was lucky enough to have a coach that believed anything was possible. Whether it be a new release or a combination of skills, I was always learning something new and I loved striving to reach new heights. 

What Gymsport did you do?

Women’s Artistic Gymnastics

How long did you do gymnastics for?

Nine years

What sport did you take up after gymnastics?

Luge - Women’s Singles

What did you find the biggest thing to adjust to when changing sports?

The speed and G-forces! Gymnastics gave me the upper body strength to have an explosive start off the handles.  Hitting 140 km/h and 5 G’s certainly took some time to get used to. 

What do you like most about your current sport?

The adrenaline rush!  

Who is your sport idol and why?

Kurt, Fearnly – what a legend!

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

Qualifying to compete in all five World Cups in the lead up the 2014 Winter Olympic Games
2013 World Cup Lillehammer, Norway
2013 World Cup Winterberg, Germany
2013 World Cup Igles, Austria
2013 World Cup Whistler, Canada
2013 World Cup Utah, Park City
As well as making my first World Championship team in 2012 Utah, USA

One question you get asked too often?

So do you basically just lie there and hold on?
I wish! 

How did gymnastics help you at your current sport?

Physically, gymnastics gave me the upper body strength to have an explosive start off the handles, as well the core strength to carry me down the track. Mentally, it gave me a toughness I never knew I had. I knew how to train and I knew how to compete. It was just a matter of applying that to a new sport. If you’re a coachable athlete, you can take your skills anywhere.

If you could be any animal in the world, what animal would you be and why?

Cats have nine lives and I’ve used a few in both sports. Let’s go with a cat.