Chellsie Memmel Announces Official Retirement
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2008 Olympic Silver Medalist and six-time World Medalist Chellsie Memmel announced her official retirement from gymnastics today. Throughout her career, the 24-year-old Wisconsin native fought against various adversaries and injuries, but her drive and work ethic never faltered. Memmel’s contributions to the industry have made her a great ambassador to the sport. Inside Gymnastics caught up with Memmel today for the inside scoop on her decision to retire.
Inside Gymnastics: Looking back on your entire gymnastics career, what have been some of your favorite moments or memories?
Chellsie Memmel: There’s been a few! Winning All-Around at the 2005 World Championships is definitely up there – that was an incredible experience! Also 2008, making the Olympic team had always been a dream and a goal of mine. And winning the team gold at Worlds in 2003 was one of my favorite memories, too.
IG: On the tour, you’ve been doing some of the greatest difficulty! Did you ever think you'd continue and try for one more Worlds?
CM: I did, but I really think it’s time to be finished. All things must come to an end... It’s sad and it’s hard. I still love to do gymnastics, especially tumbling, and I’ve gotten to do a lot of that on the tour. I’m actually really surprised at how good my body feels with the amount of tumbling we’ve been doing and our crazy schedule!
IG: What have been some of the biggest challenges of your entire career?
CM: Injuries. Definitely the injuries, but I always fought back from them and was always able to rehab and get everything back, instead of just stopping. But that taught me a lot! It taught me how much you can accomplish if you really set your mind to something. I think it makes it a little easier to finish on such a high note where I’m thoroughly enjoying myself on the tour, rather than being forced to quit because of an injury or something.
IG: Reflect on the experience of representing your country at the Olympics and what those memories mean for you...
CM: It was an all-around amazing experience! Obviously with the injury, that wasn’t the best part of it. But I was still there as part of the team, and I was able to help the team win the Silver Medal. Being in the Olympic village and around the top athletes, that’s something I’ll never forget! Not just the memories of competing, but also being in the apartment with all the girls, seeing how HUGE the cafeteria was and how many athletes are really at the Olympics – those are things I’ll never forget.
IG: On a side note, you’ve got a wedding coming up! How is that preparation going? Have you found a dress yet?
CM: It’s been going well! We have all the big stuff, I have my dress and all the bridesmaid dresses picked out! I’m pretty laid back as far as planning goes. We’re getting married Aug. 31, 2013.
IG: You’ve always had a special connections with your fans. They seem to really appreciate your work ethic and personality. What does that connection mean to you?
CM: It means so much to me! It still amazes me how many people came to support me, especially after Classics, and even before that. It’s really overwhelming and incredible the support I’ve been given and all the love I’ve received. I couldn’t ask for better fans and I want to thank them from the bottom of my heart! It’s so nice, not only to be able to do gymnastics, but to be able to do gymnastics and have people watch you and really appreciate what you’re doing.
We salute Chellsie for all of her great accomplishments and contributions to the sport, and we wish her the best in the future! We want to hear your thoughts! Share your favorite moments of Chellsie’s career on our Facebook page or tweet them to us @InsideGym!
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