Mia McCarthy ('Chops')

How old were you when you first started gymnastics?

I was five.

What was your favourite part about doing gymnastics?

I loved doing the beam.  That was definitely my favourite apparatus. 

What Gymsport did you do?

Women’s Artistic Gymnastics.

How long did you do gymnastics for?

Six years.

What sport did you take up after gymnastics?

Surfing.

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

For me it was just being able to surf and train whenever I wanted. 

What do you like most about your current sport?

It's so awesome being in the ocean everyday even when the ocean is wild and stormy. I love being part of nature.

I love the feeling surfing gives you when you get a good wave and surf it the best you can. Being "surfed out" after your surf always makes me feel so relaxed. I also love getting to meet so many cool people that love surfing just as much as me!

Who is your sport idol and why?

My idol is Sally Fitzgibbons. I love her style of surfing and I have looked up to her ever since I started surfing. I watched her win her fist World Championship Tour event at Bells Beach 2011 when I first started surfing and I have wanted to be like her ever since. I love her determination and how she trains.  She's a complete athlete.

What is your biggest accomplishment in your sport?

My biggest accomplishment is finishing 9th at the 2016 World Junior Titles in Portugal.

One question you get asked too often?

I often get asked "Where have you been? You are so tanned!" I get asked that a lot.  I also get told how funny my wetsuit tan is!

How did gymnastics help you at your current sport?

Doing gymnastics from such a young age prepared me for Surfing perfectly. The strength, flexibility, fitness and balance I gained from gymnastics was perfect for surfing.  

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

A dolphin because dolphins always look so happy. I always love seeing dolphins when I'm out surfing.