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Pan Am Games ‘Building Block For Our Team,’ Says Black
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Although Ellie Black was the most decorated Canadian athlete in any sport at the 2015 Pan American Games in Toronto, she told IG her sights for the 2019 Games that begin this week in Lima, Peru, are clearly set on a successful team performance.

“I had an amazing experience in Toronto 2015, but every competition is a different and new experience, so I am just looking forward to sharing this competition with this new team and helping to guide them the best I can,” said Black, who won three gold medals (all-around, balance beam, floor exercise), one silver medal (team) and one bronze medal (vault) at the Games four years ago.

“My goals are more focused on our Canadian team. This is a great chance to get back out there on the international stage as a team. We are focusing on using this competition to help us prepare for Olympic qualification at the World Championships in the fall.”

Black, the 2017 world all-around silver medalist, said she is managing her personal expectations as well as others’ expectations for her as the defending Games all-around champion. She is also prioritizing Canada’s performances over her own potential medal haul.

“It’s important to have goals for yourself, but those aren't always aimed towards winning,” said the 23-year-old Black. “I can't focus on the expectations of others. All I need to do is focus on our new goals, our plan, the process and using this competition as a stepping stone as we build towards Worlds. I am excited to have another opportunity to represent Canada at the 2019 Pan Am Games.”

The Canadian team in Lima includes Black, fellow 2015 Games competitor Victoria Woo, Shallon Olsen, Brooklyn Moors and Ana Padurariu.

Black said the Canadian women’s aim in Lima will be an optimal performance in its own right.

“For our team, our goal is to use this competition for experience and practice,” she said. “We will go out and aim to show our best gymnastics and make Canada proud. We always hope to have good results for Canada but we try to focus on the process instead of just the end result.”

Success in Lima could benefit Black and her teammates as they prepare for this fall’s Worlds in Stuttgart, Germany, from which nine teams will advance to next summer’s Olympic Games in Tokyo. The top three teams at last year’s Worlds in Doha, where Black led Canada to a history-best fourth-place finish, have already qualified for the Tokyo Games.

“Participating in Lima will be a perfect chance to compete again as a team, gain more podium and international experience, and work on our consistency and executing our routines the way we want in competition,” Black told IG. “It is a building block for our team as we continue to build in our preparations for the World Championships. It will be a fun and exciting step in the process.”

International Gymnast magazine’s recent coverage of Canadian gymnasts includes:

Brooklyn Moors center poster (April 2019) Ana Padurariu cover photo and interview (March 2019)

“A Canadian in Control” - Zoe Allaire-Bourgie profile (September 2018)

“Canadian Grace” - Brooklyn Moors interview (December 2017)

Ellie Black on cover collage (September 2017)

“Canadian Candor” - Ellie Black and Zachary Clay interviews (July/August 2017)

“Canadian Pace-setter” - Ana Padurariu profile (December 2016)

“Canadian on a Roll” - Jade Chrobok profile (April 2016)

Chrobok, Meixi Semple on cover inset photo (March 2016)

“Canadian Beacon” - Black interview (September 2015)

Christine Peng-Peng Lee chat (April 2015)

Megan Roberts profile (April 2015)

“Canadian Promise” - Black chat, Robert Watson profile (July/August 2014)

Isabela Onyshko profile (July/August 2014)

“Making Tracks” - Scott Morgan profile (December 2013)

"Aiming to Top the Charts" - Maegan Chant interview (October 2013)

"Canadian Diversity" - Ellie Black and Hugh Smith profiles (July/August 2013)

"Sudden Impact" - Victoria Moors interview (January/February 2013)

To subscribe to the print and/or digital editions of International Gymnast magazine, or to order back issues, click here.

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