Lauren Mitchell ('Loz')

How old were you when you first started gymnastics? 

 6, it looked fun

What was your favourite part about doing gymnastics?

I loved the feeling of being in complete control and knowing exactly where I was in the air and where I was going to land. It’s the feeling of flying that I loved and you don’t really get when you do many other sports.

What Gymsport did you do?

 Women’s Artistic Gymnastics

How long did you do gymnastics for?

 19 years

What inspired you to want to go to the Olympics?

Nothing really inspired me as such, it was part of the progression in my career. Being a sportsperson, you are never satisfied with your performance, you can always do something better or differently to improve. I always dreamed of going to the Olympics and worked really hard and I was rewarded by being given the opportunity to represent my country at the highest level.

What did you find the most challenging part of doing gymnastics at the highest level?

The most challenging part was giving 100% every single day. I loved training and knew that I had to give 100% every single day that I was training, but some days it was more challenge than other to give it that 100%. I’d like to think that every day I was in the gym, I did give it everything that I had on that particular day.

What was your favourite part of doing gymnastics at the highest level?

 My favourite part was the travel! I was able to travel the world and see places I’d never seen before, whilst still doing the sport that I love and challenging myself every day. 

What was it like being on an Olympic Team?

 It was a different experience being on an Olympic Team. It was awesome being able to live amongst some of Australia’s and the World’s best athletes for a few weeks, and be able to soak up the entire atmosphere. Walking around the village and competing in the arenas are feelings that I’d never be able to describe fully. It was something else knowing that the Olympic movement was greater than any one person or sport, and knowing that you have given everything to make your tiny mark in this movement is just incredible. 

Who is your sport idol and why?

My idol was Allana Slater, as I watched her every day training in the gym. Then as I got older it was Catalina Ponor as she was the beam and floor 2004 Olympic Champion and those were the apparatus’ that I was best at. And in the last stages of my career, Chen Fei. She was an amazing athlete to watch and had the weight of her country on her shoulders and she was still incredible. 

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

Probably the 2010 World Championship medal was my greatest accomplishment. Being the first person in your country to achieve something no one else has done before, through all the hard work and effort of everyone surrounding you, is something I never thought was conceivable for me. 

One question you get asked too often?

How many leotard do you own? And how many medals do you have?

I honestly don’t know the answers to either of those questions! 

How did gymnastics help you at your current sport?

Trampolining is a large fundamental part of our training for aerial skiing. Trampolining has equipped me with the special awareness needed to be an aerial skier and I’m fortunate enough to have already trained and competed in a lot of the moves our current world cup team are performing. However a few adjustments do need to be made to perform these skills on snow. Trampolining also taught me how to compete on the international stage, against the best in the world. This is a great tool I have gained over the years and when it becomes my time to compete on the world stage again, I’ll be able to use my previous experiences to help me along the way.

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

A Tiger. I love them and they are bold, brave and unique which is hopefully how people perceive me.