British gymnast Danusia Francis, 18 is one of UCLA's newest recruits. Known for her unique artistry and vivacious personality, Danusia has been a solid member of Team GB over the last couple of years. She was a member of the 2011 World Championships team and has performed well in two European Championships.
Danusia competes on floor exercise at the 2011 World Championships in Tokyo (Photo credit: www.stillsport.com)
Danusia on beam at the 2011 British Championships, showing off her unique style
UCLA showed interest in Danusia after they saw videos of her on Youtube (and who could blame them?). She commands attention when she performs and has a great overall presence on floor and beam, which is what you want in at the collegiate level. I cannot wait to see what Miss Val does with her floor routine for the 2013 season! Here is Danusia's routine from the 2012 British Teams Championships.
Danusia on floor exercise at the 2012 British Teams Championships
I am glad to see that more and more elite gymnasts continue their careers by competing in college gymnastics. In a sport that has been dominated by young girls (think 14 year old Nadia Comaneci), it is great to see it truly become 'Women's Gymnastics'. I hope that in the future, gymnasts will feel as though they can continue to be competitive, even after they have finished school at age 18- look at Vasiliki Missilousi, Catalina Ponor, Sandra Izbasa, Alicia Sacramone and Oksana Chusovitina.
"...I looked up to them but I never thought I would be able to do that [gymnastics] physically or psychologically. But being given this opportunity definitely inspired me to fell it was possible for me and that I could do it"- Danusia on competing past the age of 18
College gymnastics is fun to watch, teams become the gymnast's family away from home and meets are extremely competitive and hyped up by the media! It is great to see gymnasts from other countries competing alongside with the Americans such as; Becky Wing (GBR), Marissa King (GBR) and Shona Morgan (AUS). Congratulations to Danucia on being offered a scholarship to UCLA- we wish you well for your studies and competitions!
See also- The Couch Gymnast's interview with Danusia
Danusia's Blog Post on Metro Blogs
Article by Imogen Browne (@ImogenMireille)