Olympic medallist Alice Kinsella given warm welcome back at Telford gymnastics club

An Olympian has been welcomed home with open arms after returning from Tokyo to her gymnastics club.

Olympian Alice Kinsella receives a welcome home party at Park Wrekin Gymnastics Club in Wellington, after returning home from Tokyo 2020 Olympics with a Bronze Medal for the Team Final
Olympian Alice Kinsella receives a welcome home party at Park Wrekin Gymnastics Club in Wellington, after returning home from Tokyo 2020 Olympics with a Bronze Medal for the Team Final

Alice Kinsella has had a summer like no other after heading to Japan and representing Team GB in the gymnastics competitions.

The 20-year-old was away from her family for about five weeks – the longest she has been away from home, mum Karen said.

Alice, who is from Walsall but trains in Telford, won a bronze medal at the postponed summer 2020 Olympics when she competed in the team event with Jessica Gadirova, Jennifer Gadirova and Amelie Morgan.

Despite not managing to qualify for any individual event finals, Alice and her fellow Olympians won the bronze medal in the team final with Alice performing on all four apparatuses – meaning Team GB won their first Olympic team medal in gymnastics in 93 years.

Park Wrekin Gymnastics Club in Wellington helped Alice celebrate her medal and return to the UK with a party hosted in her honour.

Alice Kinsella on the Balance Beam during the Women's Team Final in Tokyo

Coaches at the club, including Brett Ince – Alice's coach – took part in a Q&A session with the Olympian to inspire the future generations of the gymnastics clubs.

Alice, who is the daughter of former Aston Villa midfielder Mark and sister of current Walsall player Liam, said arriving in Tokyo was like a dream come true and that the experience was like nothing else.

"With Covid, it was intense," she said. "Obviously not wanting to catch it, and all the restrictions, but the experience was amazing.

Olympian Alice Kinsella receives a welcome home party at Park Wrekin Gymnastics Club in Wellington, after returning home from Tokyo 2020 Olympics

"I personally love having a crowd and having my family in the audience, so it was difficult to have no-one. But winning the medal with the team was amazing.

"I went to Tokyo in 2019 for training but then the Games were postponed. With the finals we just went out and enjoyed it and it was great. I did have an amazing experience out there but being away for so long it felt good to be home."

Alice's coach, Brett Ince

Her mum Karen said the whole experience was unbelievable but she was so proud of her.

"We were very tearful when we finally saw her again, Will and I went to pick her up from the airport," she said. "We hadn't seen her for such a long while.

"Alice had to go into a bubble at Lilleshall 10 days prior and then she was away for about five weeks. There was a lot of Facetime sessions and we were shouting at the TV all the way from home – she probably could have heard us, we were so loud."

The 20-year-old said the experience was tough mentally, but she kept telling herself it was for the Olympics.

Olympian Alice Kinsella receives a Welcome Home Party at Park Wrekin Gymnastics Club in Wellington
Alice Kinsella speaks to gymnasts and their families at Park Wrekin Gymnastics Club in Wellington

She said: "With my first trial, it did not go as well as I wanted but I came away from that and learned from it. Then every trial got even better.

"It was tough mentally but I kept telling myself, this is for the Olympics."

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