A British gymnast is settling into her first semester at Kingston just weeks after being part of the nationâ€™s bid for Olympic glory. Lizzie Line, who is completing a history and sociology degree, represented Team GB in the womenâ€™s artistic gymnastics at the Athens Games.
Since entering the international circuit aged 10, Lizzie has established herself as one of the countryâ€™s top gymnasts. She lists one of her most significant achievements as picking up a silver medal as a member of Englandâ€™s Commonwealth Games team in 2002. Lizzie also played a key part in Britainâ€™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. â€œIâ€™ve been training since I was four and the Olympics was something Iâ€™d been working towards for a long time,â€ Lizzie said. â€œIt was really satisfying to show the world that Britain could compete at the highest level.â€
After taking a year out to prepare for the Olympics, Lizzie has decided to retire from the international spotlight to concentrate on her studies. â€œGymnastics is a young girlsâ€™ sport and Iâ€™ll be 23 when the next Olympics comes around so, realistically, wonâ€™t make the team again,â€ she said. â€œI 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.â€
Director of Sport James Hayter said Lizzie, who is a member of the Universityâ€™s talented athlete scheme, would be an inspiration to her course mates. â€œHaving another world class athlete on our books enhances Kingstonâ€™s reputation in the sporting arena. We are confident Lizzie will enjoy further success during her time at the University,â€ he said.