Tuesday 26 February 2013

Making a Comeback

Lisa Mason

GBs Lisa Mason had a fantastic career with British gymnastics, gaining many medals and titles (British and Commonwealth), many 'firsts' for a British gymnast and competing in the 2000 Olympic Games. She then made the decision to retire, as many gymnasts do, going on to do coaching and choreography and also had a daughter, who is now 7 years old. But, unlike the rest of the gymnasts she competed alongside back then, Lisa Mason, at 31, has decided to make a comeback.

During the home Olympics in London, Lisa was part of a gala display in the North Greenwich Arena and rediscovered her love for performing. "I did a gala at the Olympics, back out on the floor. I got a hunger for it and I realised I was still capable of doing the skills." So she headed back to the gym and started to prepare for a comeback, almost 13 years after retiring from the sport.

With her eyes set firmly on the next home games, the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games, Lisa is back to her training. Starting off just on vault and beam, she may consider adding bars and floor back in at a later date. Having been working hard in the gym, Lisa is preparing for her first competition this weekend (1-3 March) at the English Championships. Always looking ahead, Lisa is hoping to use this competition as a starting point and a way forwards: "I have no idea what my competition is doing so I'm intrigued to see this weekend so I can go back, analyse and edit my routines for the British."

It may have been 12 years since she last competed, but maturity and experience has given Lisa the drive and ambition to get right back to where she was. So does she have any concerns or doubts about returning to gymnastics after such a long break? "I think getting back into a leotard scares me more than doing a full twist on the beam."

From someone who remembers watching Lisa compete the first time round, I personally cannot wait to see her back in competition again. Good luck Lisa, I wish you every success in your comeback.

(Lisa winning Gold on vault at the 1998 Commonwealth Games)