Plum Ambassador and Barbados National Representative Gives Insights On Practicing Perfect and Making History
In October, the 2022 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships was held in Liverpool, United Kingdom. Sixteen-year-old Plum Ambassador, Olivia Kelly, made history by being the first gymnast ever to represent Barbados during this competition. We sat down with Olivia to discuss this major accomplishment and what’s next for the elite gymnast!
Q: Congratulations on making history by competing at Worlds recently! What has been the most rewarding part of this experience so far?
A: Thank you! I would say the most rewarding part is being given the opportunity to inspire so many young girls like me to follow their dreams. It’s also a plus that I get to travel the world doing what I love.
Q: What did it mean to you to represent your father’s home country of Barbados in this competition?
A: It meant so much to me to represent an amazing country that supports me so much.
Q: What is your advice for younger gymnasts with big dreams like yours?
A: Some advice for younger gymnasts is to learn from your mistakes and never give up. Mistakes are just learning tools to make you better, and they’ve helped me become who I am today and fueled my determination.
Q: How did you mentally prepare yourself for this competition?
A: I mentally prepared myself for Worlds by doing a lot of visualization and talking with my mental coach, Traci Sommer.
Q: Who traveled with you on this trip? Any fun events or rituals that you want to share?
A: Both of my parents came as well as my coach Ashley Umberger. One of my best friends, Aniyah, surprised me, and we hung out a few times before I competed, which was a lot of fun.
Q: What is the go-to song on your playlist? Add anything new lately?
A: My go-to song on my playlist is pretty much any Rihanna or Lizzo song. They really pump me up and get me ready for practice and meets.
Q: What are you most looking forward to in the coming months following this achievement?
A: I’m looking forward to going to Barbados and doing a warm-up with the girls. Hopefully, I’ve inspired them to work hard and have fun!
Q: What are your future goals, both athletically and personally?
A: My future goals are staying mentally and physically healthy while I prepare for the next season. I’m also looking at colleges right now, so it’s exciting to be looking at future homes!
Q: What is your most memorable moment OUTSIDE of the competition - meeting someone new, experiencing the country, new food, etc.?
A: My most memorable moment outside of the competition was definitely meeting new people. I met girls from all over the world, which was so awesome! The food was really good around the hotel and arena, and had all different types of food. My favorite restaurant I went to was a restaurant in one of the malls closest to my hotel. It was called Iguanas, and they had all different types of food, such as Brazilian food, Mexican food, and a few others. My favorite meal there was the nachos and the fajitas!
Q: What is the one thing that most people would not know about you?
A: People probably wouldn’t know that I binge-watch Dancing With the Stars (DWTS), and my ultimate goal is to be on it one day!
Q: What was the first thing you did upon returning back to the U.S.A.?
A: The first thing I did when returning to the U.S. was play with my dog, lay in my bed, and eat at my favorite restaurant. Then the next day, I got my nails done and relaxed!
Keep up with Olivia’s amazing journey by following her on social media!