BUDDING gymnast Connor De-Campo has taken home a gold medal in the team event at this year’s Australian Gymnastics Championships on the Gold Coast.
In his fourth nationals appearance, De-Campo and five of his Queensland teammates scored the gold for their combined performance in the Level 10 Open Men’s Artistic Gymnastics (MAG) team event.
The event included the top scores in the six-apparatus including floor, pommel horse, rings, vault, parallel bars and high bar.
The win sealed a mighty comeback for Ingham’s De-Campo after an enforced two-year break from the sport due to a knee surgery and Covid-19 halting competition in 2020.
De-Campo said: ‘It was very exciting to be able to medal with the team again after a long time off from the sport.’
Along with his win in the team event, the 21-year-old went on to place 10th overall in the highly contested level 10 individual all-around event, being up against 15 other athletes from around the country.
With sickness plaguing his performance on day one of the competition, he managed to come away with some promising performances in his field with a fourth on the rings, fifth on the parallel bars, sixth on the pommel horse, eight on the vault, tenth on the high bar and tenth for his floor performance.
He said: ‘Sadly I was very sick day one of competition and didn’t have the best day, although I ended up in 10th place.’
Following his impressive performance at the state championships in April and qualifying as the only level 10 gymnast outside of Brisbane, De-Campo is happy with another Australian championship appearance and another national gold to add to his medal haul.
The dedicated athlete said: ‘Being the only level 10 gymnast in regional Queensland is challenging and it is hard to be motivated at times.
‘Although having the younger generation to coach and inspire helps me.’
Coming from a near two-year hiatus of live gymnastics in Australia, gymnasts from all states and territories around the country came together eager to take the floor again.
For the first time in the events history, the national championships were held on the Gold Coast at the Gold Coast Sports and Leisure Centre, the venue used for the 2018 Commonwealth Games.
All six competitive gym sports were on show across the 12 days of competition as Australia’s best vied for the title of National Champion.
The competition featured the Olympic disciplines of men’s and women’s artistic, rhythmic and trampoline gymnastics with the Olympic athletes putting in the final preparations for Tokyo, and the acrobatic and aerobic gymnastics athletes showing off their routines ahead of the World Championships.
In the men’s artistic gymnastics, Queensland athletes took home 30 gold, 26 silver and 23 bronze medals, earning second place for most successful state, with the women’s team collecting 26 gold, 13 silver and 11 bronze medals.
A national championship is the highest level of competition before athletes move on to compete for Australia at international competitions, such as the World Championships, Commonwealth Games or the Olympics — so for De-Campo his dream is very much alive as he continues to move closer to realising his goal of performing on the world stage.
‘The only person that can judge your success is yourself, because you are the only one in your shoes.’
And his hard work and dedication to the sport is certainly paying off.
Back at home now and Connor is straight back into study, work, training, coaching, and performing.
You may have witnessed his special guest appearance and entertaining performance at the Australian-Italian Festival Hair and Fashion Show recently – his many talents are phenomenal.
There is no stopping him. Watch out world…here he comes.