Lasting Legacy Left by Danielle Prince
As Australia’s most decorated Rhythmic Gymnast, Danielle Prince has left a lasting legacy as an athlete after she retired at the start of this year.
“I was so fortunate to be selected to compete at 7 World Championships and to wear the Australian tracksuit was an honour that I will never forget,” Prince said.
“Each Championships was unique and each provided such different experiences, pressures, highs and lows.
“My first Championships (2009 in Mie, Japan) at 17 years old was such an eye-opening experience to be competing alongside the world's best gymnasts.
“Being in that environment was scary and overwhelming but it also was inspiring and stoked this internal fire within me to achieve more in the sport.“
Looking back on her career, Princes reflects on the 2016 Olympic Games.
“A moment that stands out from my gymnastics career is finishing my ribbon routine at the Olympic Games in Rio.
“The Olympic Games represented the pinnacle of my career and the culmination of many years of hard work, persistence and grit.
“For me that moment wasn't about results or scores but remembering the days when I hung in there when obstacles came my way and just kept showing up, day in, day out to train.”
Prince began gymnastics when she was 11 years old just because her dance teacher suggested trying it out. Fast forward to 2019 and Prince’s list of achievements and experience speak for themselves.
An Olympian, a seven-time Australian World Championship representative, a three-time Commonwealth Games Australian team member, a commonwealth Games Gold medalist and a five-time Australian All Around Champion.
That is just a few of the accolades Prince has to her name, having been an incredible asset to the Australian Senior Rhythmic Gymnastics program since 2009.
Prince remains involved within Rhythmic Gymnastics and she is one to welcome change and seeing her sport moving forward.
“I think a great focus of this current code of points and Olympic cycle is rewarding correct technique when performing body difficulties,” Prince said.
“Now, as a coach, you become more focused on ensuring you teaching the athletes to perform elements safely and correctly, hopefully minimising injuries down the track.
“I am excited to see what the next Code of Points brings to Rhythmic but I hope to see less emphasis on apparatus difficulties and risk throws, and rather shift the focus to improving artistry and the performance quality of a routine.
“It would make the sport more accessible and easier to understand for the general public, and that is something I would love to see."
Prince is the perfect example of what you want in a role model for the next generation of gymnasts through her experiences as an athlete to now, as a coach.
“I am proud to be a part of Rhythmic Gymnastics here in Australia because of the incredible opportunities and qualities the sport offers and builds in our young aspiring gymnasts,” Prince said.
“Rhythmic Gymnastics develops mental toughness, determination, dedication, self-awareness, grit and persistence in our athletes, all qualities that will help and aid them in life long after they have hung up their toe shoes and that is something pretty special.”