Gymnast Alice Kinsella surprised her mum with a Home Support print, as thank you for the incredible love and support her family have given her over the years. We caught up with Alice to speak about her dream of going to Tokyo, growing up with a sporting family, and the importance of home support.
What does it feel like to have such amazing support from your family?
It’s very important to have someone there for you, especially on the bad days. You need someone to take your mind off it and cheer you up, and my mum really knows how to do that.
It was hard balancing gymnastics with school. I was training near-enough 24/7 so I had to miss a few lessons. My mum was supportive in helping me combine my studies and my sport.
It’s going to be a bit tougher this summer, knowing that our family and friends aren’t going to be there in person. But I know they’ll be at home supporting and cheering us on which will help me if I go to compete. It will always be in the back of my mind knowing they’re at home supporting, watching and cheering us on.
Are your family into sport?
My dad was a professional footballer, and my brother is now also a professional footballer. It’s great having such a sporty family and I will try and follow in their footsteps. When I was younger, I wanted to be like my brother and my dad – that was my main goal.
Gymnastics is harder than football though, no matter what anyone says! They’re kicking a ball around whereas we’re doing no-handed flips on a four-inch-wide beam, swinging in between bars, letting go and catching again – it’s definitely harder! Liam and I are very competitive with each other – he’s more competitive than me though so I just let him win.
What do you think of the Purplebricks Home Support artwork?
I’ve seen the painting on Purplebricks’ For Sale and To Let boards while I’ve been driving around. I love the one by Joe Joyce because it really reminds me of the Olympics, with the Lion and the GB flag in the background. Representing your country and having that lion on your chest is the greatest feeling in the world. It brews up a lot of excitement, especially knowing the Olympics is really close now.
What are your memories of the Olympics?
I watched the 2008 Olympics, with Nastia Liukin and Beth Tweddle. Then in 2012 – one of my favourite Olympics – I remember watching Beth win the bronze medal on bars, which was an amazing feeling. I went out to watch the Rio Games, which was incredible - there wasn’t anything like it. Each of those Games inspired me. Now I’m just hoping I can go out there and compete for my country.
What did it feel like the first time you represented Team GB?
Competing for you country and having that Lion on your chest is one of the best feelings in the world. Knowing how far you’ve come is a great feeling as well.
What are your aims for Tokyo?
My biggest aim would be to enjoy it and experience it, but also to reach the all-around final, team final and then hopefully beam final. That piece is my best. Anything can happen on the day – anyone can snatch a medal. You can do so much in training and clean routine after clean routine, but in a competition, you just never know what’s going to happen with gymnastics.
What do you think Tokyo will be like?
It will be special; it will just be a different kind of special. Not having a crowd and not being able to socialise with other athletes in the athlete's village will be a bit strange, but the main thing is we’re going to compete and get the experience from it all.
What role will social media play in the Games?
Social media and keeping in touch with my family will be important. I’ll be FaceTiming them every day, and I’ll know that when I’m competing, they’ll be at home watching and supporting me.