Cape Town - South African Olympic gymnast Caitline Rooskrantz says living through COVID-19 and the attendant lockdown has been the hardest phase in her career.
Rooskrantz - South Africa’s first Olympic artistic gymnast in 15 years – says she was relieved to resume training after almost four months in lockdown.
“I have had so many disappointments and set-backs in my career but COVID-19 is the worst, one of the biggest ones,” she said.
She said prior to the lockdown, the longest break from training since she turned 11 was over the December holidays.
Rooskrantz is set to participate in the Tokyo Olympic Games, which were moved from this year to 2021 due to the new coronavirus pandemic.
She is the first South African teenager to qualify for the Olympics Games.
Rooskrantz said she started gymnastics when she was six-years-old after family and friends said she would have a future in the sport because of the way she was always jumping over furniture.
She says while the training facilities in South Africa are not at the level of those she finds when she gets to train in Europe, they the passion to succeed and the determination of the athletes and trainers more than made up for it.
Ilse Pelser, Rooskrantz’s coach, has described her as one of the most committed athletes she has ever worked with.