Nova Scotia

Ellie Black brings Pan Am Games inspiration with coaching, medals

Halifax gymnast Ellie Black is back on home turf after a fantastic showing at the Pan Am Games in Toronto, inspiring other young athletes to follow in her footsteps.

'It would be such an honour,' Black says of possibly carrying Canadian flag at Pan Am closing ceremonies

Halifax gymnast Ellie Black helps a young athlete at her home gym, Halifax Alta, on Wednesday. (CBC)

Halifax gymnast Ellie Black is back on home turf after a fantastic showing at the Pan Am Games in Toronto, inspiring other young athletes to follow in her footsteps.

Black, who won five medalsthree gold, one silver and a bronze — at the 2015 Pan Am Games, is still excited about the experience.

"It was amazing, the whole competition and experience was incredible. For the whole team to do so well, and individually, to have that result was incredible," she said Wednesday, as other athletes practiced their routines in the background at Halifax Alta Gymnastics Club.

"It was kind of hard to believe but now that I'm back home and grounded — it's really sinking in.

"We knew it was going to be tough competition. We were mostly focused on the team competition and getting a warm-up for the world championships in the fall."

As of Wednesday, Black remained the most decorated Canadian athlete at this year's Pan Am Games. One of the gold medals she won was in the women's all-around gymnastics event — the first time a non-American woman has won since 1983. 

She said she was happy to be back in Halifax with her family and fellow gymnasts.

"The gym is my second family. I spend more time here than I do at home," Black said.

Ellie Black won five medals at the Pan Am Games in Toronto, including a gold in the women's all-around gymnastics event. She is the first Canadian in 36 years to win that medal. (CBC)

"I have been incredibly lucky that I was able able to start my career here at Halifax Alta, and continue it and still continue to train here. There is amazing support here. We have fantastic coaching set up here. That is why I've been able to stay here."

And she is giving back.

"This week at the camp, coaching, hopefully, I can help inspire these young athletes to work hard, go for their dreams. They love seeing the medals, that's always exciting."

Black is thrilled at the social media buzz from supporters who believe she should carry the Canadian flag at the Pan Am closing ceremonies on July 26 — a star-studded affair with performers such as Kanye West and Serena Ryder.

"I think it is kind of hard to believe that I could carry the flag for the closing ceremonies in Canada. It would be such an honour," she said.

Comments

To encourage thoughtful and respectful conversations, first and last names will appear with each submission to CBC/Radio-Canada's online communities (except in children and youth-oriented communities). Pseudonyms will no longer be permitted.

By submitting a comment, you accept that CBC has the right to reproduce and publish that comment in whole or in part, in any manner CBC chooses. Please note that CBC does not endorse the opinions expressed in comments. Comments on this story are moderated according to our Submission Guidelines. Comments are welcome while open. We reserve the right to close comments at any time.