Player's Own Voice

Player's Own Voice podcast: Ellie Black finds a fine balance

Player's Own Voice podcast offers semi-daily new episodes throughout Tokyo 2020. In the International Broadcast Centre today: Artistic Gymnast Ellie Black.

Gritty performance is latest display of perseverance from Gymnastic team leader

Canadian gymnast Ellie Black, from Halifax, competes in the balance beam final at the Tokyo Olympics on Tuesday. (Adrian Wyld/The Canadian Press)

Just like a balance beam routine, gymnast Ellie Black's entire Olympic experience teetered on the edge of disaster.

She managed to salvage an inspirational fourth-place finish on the beam, despite a freshly re-injured ankle. Which really was a matter of snatching improbable triumph back from the brink of a much more likely painful retreat.

Perhaps the least-surprised person in this Olympic drama is Black herself.

The 25 year-old Canadian Artistic Gymnastics team leader has always led by example, always rolled with the bad breaks, and always encouraged her teammates to see that setbacks are the proving ground for great competitors.

Fuelled by very little sleep and even less breakfast, Ellie Black sat down with Player's Own Voice podcast host Anastasia Bucsis to try and make sense of the Tokyo experience.

This conversation also flirted with disaster, as Black's exhaustion ran up against a tide of excitement about heading home to Halifax. If we have learned one thing, though, from watching this three-time Olympian in action: She always shows up on game day.

Player's Own Voice is working straight through the Tokyo Olympics, dropping episodes every day or two. These are quick and dirty conversations with athletes at the pinnacle of their careers.

Like the CBC Sports' Player's Own Voice essay series  the podcast allows athletes speak to Canadians about issues from a personal perspective.

To listen to the entire fourth season of POV podcast, subscribe for free on Spotify, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Tune In or wherever you do your other podcast listening.

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