Gymnast Ellie steals Olympic limelight from her famous big sister!

FOLLOWING IN HER SISTER'S FOOTSTEPS -- Ellie Downie (right) with sister Becky
FOLLOWING IN HER SISTER'S FOOTSTEPS -- Ellie Downie (right) with sister Becky

ONE of Hucknall’s leading hopes for glory at the London Olympic Games is 20-year-old gymnast Becky Downie.

Becky, who lives on Poppy Mews, off Nottingham Road, performed admirably at the Beijing Olympics of 2008, having picked up a hat-trick of medals (two silver and one bronze) at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, Australia.

However, with only three months before the start of the London Games, her limelight is to be stolen by her younger sister, Ellie.

For 12-year-old Ellie, also a gymnast, has been selected to compete at the Olympic venue, the ExCel Centre in London, to represent England at the Sainsbury’s School Games finals.

Backed by National Lottery funding from Sport England, the School Games, scheduled for Sunday May 6 to Wednesday May 9, is a multi-sport event for school-aged athletes.

It is regarded as a fantastic opportunity to showcase some of the finest young sporting talent the country has to offer.

More than 35,000 spectators are expected to watch the action at various Olympic venues. As well as gymnastics, there will be athletics, badminton, cycling, fencing, hockey, judo, rugby, swimming, table tennis, volleyball and wheelchair basketball.

It should be an awe-inspiring experience to compete at venues where their sporting heroes will be following in their footsteps just a few weeks later.

Ellie is delighted to be taking part and says: “I’m really happy that I’ve been selected and I am obviously very excited to be competing at an Olympics venue.

“I hope to compete at the best of my ability and if a medal comes my way, I will be very happy.

“I think I stand out from other competitors because I am powerful. I have also overcome a few challenges this year, including an elbow injury and temporarily losing my place in the Great Britain squad.

“However my injury has healed and I’m back in the team.”

Ellie is a member of the Notts Gymnastics Academy. She started training in the sport at the age of just three.

She won her first British title at the age of nine and is tipped to be a star of the future on the international stage.