Godwin wants to advance gymnastics
Australia’s shining light in artistic gymnastics, Georgia Godwin hopes his golden form at the Commonwealth Games can help put the scandalous sport in a better light and move it forward.
Godwin won four medals, two gold and two silver, in 48 hours in Birmingham and almost single-handedly put the gymnastics team in the spotlight.
On Monday, Godwin took gold on vault ahead of Canadian Laurie Denommee on the tiebreaker, then silver behind England star Georgia-Mae Fenton on uneven bars.
The Australian captain took all-around gold on Sunday and team silver on Saturday.
Godwin’s success is a welcome boost for Australian gymnastics.
Sport was left reeling in May 2021 by an independent review by the Australian Human Rights Commission which found that the culture of sport and the goal of “winning at all costs” allowed for physical abuse, sexual and emotional.
Godwin said she deliberately blocked the conversation because it didn’t help her mental health when she tried to focus on major competitions.
But the 24-year-old said she tried to play the ‘mother figure’ in a young team trying to put gymnastics in the ‘best light possible’.
“I do my best to try to show that gymnastics is a safe sport and everyone should feel safe doing gymnastics,” she said.
“And we’re headed in the right direction, so it’s really exciting to see.”
Triple medalist on the Gold Coast, Godwin has now equaled Lauren Mitchell on seven medals at the Games, but two fewer golds, and can win another in the beam on Tuesday.
“I just come to these competitions and have fun and do my best and the medals are a huge bonus,” she said.
“I’ve learned that putting that expectation on me doesn’t help.”
On Monday, Godwin landed 13.700 on his first jump and 12.766 on his second.
She tied Canada’s Laur ie Denommee in 13.233 (13.566 and 12.900), but Godwin won in the tiebreaker with the highest individual jump.
“I just went over there and put 110% of what I had left in that first safe and that turned out to be enough,” she said.
On uneven bars, Godwin landed a 13.500 to temporarily lead but was passed by Fenton, who produced 13.900 to defend her title.
On her 22nd birthday, fellow Australian kate mcdonald finished seventh on uneven bars on 12.533.
Godwin’s teammate Emilie Whitehead finished eighth on vault with 11.899.
McDonald (beam), Whitehead (floor) and Romi Brown (ground) are also in the final on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, teenager Jesse Moore must have regretted a late fall in his pommel horse routine that nearly cost him a silver medal, finishing fifth.
A “pretty devastated” Moore said he “just ran out of gas at the end”.
Clay Mason Stephens finished seventh in the floor final.
Moore, 19, withdrew from the rings event with the shoulder injury he aggravated in Sunday’s all-around final but is aiming to compete in the high bar final of Tuesday.
james bacueti (skip), Mitchell Morgans (high bar and parallel bars) and Taurus Tyson (parallel bars) also compete.