With just months to go until Rio 2016, Lauren Mitchell is on the comeback trail to qualify for her third Olympics.
Mitchell is Australia’s most decorated gymnast but the former Floor World Champion experienced an injury plagued 2015 that ended in a full anterior cruciate ligament knee reconstruction in June.
“Basically, I wanted to come into this year with no regrets,” said Mitchell.
“Which is why I went with the LARS hamstring augmentation for the graft of the ACL. So that is what I did but since then it has been very much up and down.”
After the frustrations, the 24 year old saw a ray of light in the last fortnight as she returned to the gym hall for the first time.
With a lengthy lay-off and injury to a crucial part of the gymnast’s body, it has been a well monitored return with the four time Commonwealth Games gold medallists re-learning her skills.
The ever-fearless Mitchell even took on the element that de-railed her Rio preparations last year.
“That was a skill I originally hurt my knee on and that’s why it was such a big deal to be able to do it again”
While the Perth resident will be continuing her fast strides to fit for the Olympics, Mitchell’s teammates will compete in a Rio 2016 Olympics test event in April.
The event will see eight nations, including the strong teams from Romania, Brazil, Korea Republic and Germany, vying for the four Rio 2016 quota spots.
“It’s going to be a challenge,” said Mitchell.
“But I think if we go in and hit our routines then it will be okay. It will just be a matter of going in and doing what we know we can do.”
For now, Australia’s most decorated gymnast is focusing on herself, getting her body right and coming back to continue inspire the next generation of Australian gymnasts.
“If I can inspire one person to be to comeback from injury and to be able to trust themselves again to be able to do something that were able to do before, then that’s amazing."