A British gymnast is settling into her first semester at Kingston just weeks after being part of the nation’s bid for Olympic glory. Lizzie Line, who is completing a history and sociology degree, represented Team GB in the women’s artistic gymnastics at the Athens Games.
Since entering the international circuit aged 10, Lizzie has established herself as one of the country’s top gymnasts. She lists one of her most significant achievements as picking up a silver medal as a member of England’s Commonwealth Games team in 2002. Lizzie also played a key part in Britain’s Olympic qualification at the 2003 World Championships and, earlier this year, helped Britain to its best ever fifth placing in the team event at the European Championships.
The 19 year old, who hopes to become a primary teacher when she graduates, was praised for her performance on the beam at the Olympics. “I’ve been training since I was four and the Olympics was something I’d been working towards for a long time,” Lizzie said. “It was really satisfying to show the world that Britain could compete at the highest level.”
After taking a year out to prepare for the Olympics, Lizzie has decided to retire from the international spotlight to concentrate on her studies. “Gymnastics is a young girls’ sport and I’ll be 23 when the next Olympics comes around so, realistically, won’t make the team again,” she said. “I still intend to compete in events such as the World University Games, but I really want to focus on the next stage of my life now away from gymnastics.”
Director of Sport James Hayter said Lizzie, who is a member of the University’s talented athlete scheme, would be an inspiration to her course mates. “Having another world class athlete on our books enhances Kingston’s reputation in the sporting arena. We are confident Lizzie will enjoy further success during her time at the University,” he said.