(Photo credit: Jeff Sipsey)
Triple Twist: You've been MIA since 2010. Are you injured? Or just taking a break?
Charlotte: Yes, I got injured in December of 2010 at Elite Canada and the 2011 season was a complete write off because of it. I proudly came 3rd at that meet, injuring myself on vault, the last event - second vault didn’t count for all around! I was quite annoyed because I was only continuing to improve at that point. I was really focused on getting in shape and working extremely hard to make an Olympic spot. It has been a frustrating and long process for me because I had two surgeries with numerous plates and screws put in and then removed 6 months later. I was on crutches for the majority of that 6 months and as of right now, I am thankful to even be walking.
Triple Twist: When can we expect to see you competing again?
Charlotte: I really don’t know. It’s been terribly sad and frustrating coming to terms with the ultimate dream of the Olympic Games slipping away. Working my entire life towards it is tough enough, but having a possible career ending injury has made it difficult to even think about or want to come back. Although the injury is slowly recovering, I ended up with a few complications including osteopenia in my leg bones. I wasn’t allowed to run or jump on it for the past year because the bones could fracture easily. But then again, I really want to test the limits and see what I can get back without putting my foot at risk, I guess we’ll just have to see how it goes.
Triple Twist: Are the Olympics still a realistic goal for you? What are some of your other goals?
Charlotte: No, sadly that goal slipped away. A goal of mine would definitely be to get back into the sport itself and stay active. I always kept dancing in the mix and at the back of my mind, throughout my life and when I was competing. In between competitive gymnastics seasons I took dance classes, and I would really like to focus on this now and see where it leads. In gymnastics, I’ve always had a passion for dance. I was never naturally physically powerful (my coach David would agree) and to me, the real beauty in the sport is the artistry. I definitely tried quite hard to focus on that in my gymnastics and its quite tough to maintain strength and artistry, so I have admired gymnasts like Ksenia Afanasyeva and Nastia Liukin who could make gymnastics beautiful.
Triple Twist: How do you feel about Canada qualifying to the Olympics as a team?
Charlotte: I am so happy for them and so proud! I would have loved to contribute because I know how much of a dream it is for those girls, but things happen that are out of your control and unfortunately that was the case for me.
Triple Twist: Are you interested in doing college gymnastics?
Charlotte: I was definitely interested in doing college gymnastics but I declined so that I could work hard to make the Olympic team. Fortunately, I had a back up plan and I was happy to be accepted into the University of British Columbia last year which is as close to home as it gets. I guess being stuck on crutches and unable to train gave me lots of time to study hard and getting into UBC was the silver lining in the cloud!
Triple Twist: Are you making any upgrades for the upcoming season?
Charlotte: No, In fact I’m not even training in gymnastics currently. The long recovery time for my injury was very frustrating for me (doing nothing but conditioning in the gym) and for my coach, who wanted to push on and increase my training hours. He felt it would be better to take time out of the gym until it was good enough to train more intensely. I’m hoping that, with time, I will be able to get back into it. Meanwhile, I’m enjoying the dance!
Triple Twist: What has been your greatest memory from gymnastics?
Charlotte: There are so many but looking back it would be going to those big meets when I was quite young like Massillia Cup in 2005 and Pan Am games in 2007. It was nerve-wracking at the time for sure but it was fun performing in front of the huge crowds of people. At that point I was young and didn't expect too much from myself so it was mostly fun.
Triple Twist: What advice would you give to young athletes who are dealing with injury's?
Charlotte: Look after your injury's and do not ignore them! Don't give up or let them discourage you and always strive to be the best you can be.
(Photo Credit: L. Smith)
Watch 10 year old Charlotte on floor at the 2004 Elite Canada
Check out this impressive beam routine from the 2006 Junior Pan Ams
Here's Charlotte on floor at the 2010 World Championships
We want to wish Charlotte a speedy recovery and the best of luck with whatever comes next!