Former national artistic gymnast Thema Williams, who has officially retired from competition, but the 25-year-old has now found a way to still incorporate some of its positive into her very active daily life and has now opted to finesse it.
Speaking to the Olympic Channel (olympicchannel.com website) Williams said, “I started gymnastics when I was six-years-old because my older sister used to do gymnastics, and my mom was worried I would get hurt, so she took me to Tots n Tumblers which is where my gymnastics journey began.
Reflecting on her career, Williams, who represented T&T for 14 years said the most difficult part in starting the sport of gymnastics for her was going from an informal environment at home to a formal environment in the gym with other kids and line ups and having to wait my turn.
“It was an entirely different social environment for me,” stated Williams.
In describing her sport, Williams said, “Gymnastics is the perfect combination of grace, elegance, strength, agility and of course mentally determination.
She added, “Resilience in gymnastics literally means deciding on your worse days, to have the best day that you can, getting up and trying again.
Williams, who was the first local gymnast to compete at a World Championship in 2011, but was controversially axed from the Rio Olympic Games travelling contingent said she became particularly interested in the Olympic Games after watching Carly Patterson perform and when I saw Nastia Liukin do it I definitely knew I wanted to be an Olympian.
With regards to her present-day activities, Williams stated, “Right now what I do is take the techniques and the skills that I have learnt from my years of practice and I make it into something fun and freeing and something almost therapeutic for me.”
“What I like to say is that I am taking the sport of gymnastics and I finesse it. I used what I have learnt in a creative way,” she boasted.
“Anywhere I see a natural environment where I can do something or do a skill I always take the opportunity, it’s all about fun and freedom.
Williams also pointed to the fact that there are a lot of misconceptions of the sport, one being you need to have a certain physical appearance to get involve.
She explained, “One of the most common misconceptions about the sport of gymnastics worldwide is that gymnastics requires a body type, the reality is that gymnastics creates a body type.
“The training regime that we engage in is what sculps and moulds our bodies to be able to perform the skills and techniques that we do
“I like to keep moving, I like to get on my feet and I love being outdoors and generally I enjoy living an active lifestyle and I will continue to do so.
“I will encourage others to take care of their bodies in a similar way, get outdoors, get active and incorporate the things that you love into your work-outs and definitely make sweating part of your lifestyle.
The former top T&T athlete in ending her interview said, “What I hope to accomplish is to inspire professional athletes who have stepped off of the floor to use their talents to empower and inspire others to realise that when we step off of the competition floor it’s not over, it’s the beginning of something new.