Going 'Beyond The Routine' allows for a look inside the different worlds of gymnasts who are each on their own path to greatness. Often, the moments outside the competition floor are where the magic happens—it's found in the hours spent in the gym and at grueling training camps. Not every piece of footage makes it into a BTR episode, but the untold parts of every journey contribute to inspiring stories of true triumph.
For Brittany Rogers, her journey has spanned not only between two different countries, but two entirely different gymnasitcs worlds. As a Georgia Gymdog and 2012 Canadian Olympian, this upcoming year will be one of balancing both college and elite gymnastics, as she has her eyes on a berth to Rio.
Rogers is spending the fall training in Canada to prepare for the World Championships, and will return to UGA in December. Once December rolls around, 2016 will be just around the corner, and Rio will be on Rogers' mind. She will be straddling two different worlds.
Collegiate training and elite training don’t often go hand in hand, but Rogers is making it happen. “I finish my college routines and then it’s ‘okay do you have enough energy to play around with elite routines and elite skills’ and most of the time I do, and it’s great.” But the balancing act can take a toll. “Sometimes I’m tired just like everybody else—my body gets sore—but I do make time to work on elite skills.” As the Olympics approach, Rogers will need to put more and more effort into making herself ready to be a contender for Rio. “I’m going to have to figure out a great plan to work with my goals in mind. It’s going to be a challenge, but I’m up for it.”
Rogers has embarked on an impressive endeavor, but she isn’t the first to train for the Olympics while in the NCAA. Canadian gymnast Kate Richardson competed for Team Canada at the 2000 Olympics in Sydney and then began competing for UCLA in 2002. She trained for the 2004 Olympics while at UCLA, went on to place 15th AA in Athens, and qualified for the floor final where she took seventh--becoming the first Canadian woman to qualify for an Olympic final. Richardson now works as a physiotherapist and has done work on Rogers in the past. “It’s really cool how the tables have turned a little bit, but I’m still able to ask her for advice and see what she did…I’m able to lean on her and see how she coped with things,” Rogers said. Richardson gave Rogers the advice to “work your butt off…And I’m pretty sure that’s pretty much exactly what I need to do is just work hard and obviously hard work pays off, and I’ve seen that myself firsthand. I just need to stay focused and keep my mind on the goal.”
In Canada, Rogers trains at Calgary Gymnastics Centre with coaches David Kenwright and Janna Ball. Rather than feeling torn between the two different worlds, Rogers has chosen to use it to her advantage. “I have support in college and support in Canada.”
NCAA gymnastics has taught Rogers many lessons that she is taking with her on the journey to Rio. “I’ve learned how to calm my nerves a little bit even though I get super nervous…I try and and hide them well. I’ve learned that mistakes are okay and it’s not the end of the world if I make a mistake. And I’ve learned how to be a team player—I think that’s the number one thing I’ve learned." Being able to truly grasp what it means to put the team first is influencing her mindset as she looks towards Rio. “Providing what I can, that’s kind of the goal for me. If I can contribute somewhere for Team Canada, then I will.”
Hear more about Brittany's road to Rio in BEYOND THE ROUTINE: CANADA RISING EPISODE TWO.
Watch BEYOND THE ROUTINE: CANADA RISING EPISODE ONE here.
Rogers on beam at Canadian National Team Training Camp