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Chellsie Memmel aiming for Olympic comeback

Posted at 6:44 PM, Apr 13, 2021
and last updated 2021-04-14 10:26:13-04

We broke the news of Chellsie Memmel's comeback last year. Now, we update her inspirational road to try and get to Tokyo for the Olympics.

"Why? Why not?" Chellsie Memmel says.

Nine months ago to the day, this was Chellsie's reaction to a return to competitive gymnastics.

Lance Allan of TMJ4 Sports: "So you don't want to announce it today?"

Chellsie Memmel laughs. "When are you ready to announce it? What's holding you back?" Allan asks.

"I know, I know, I'm just dragging my feet," Chellsie Memmel says with a chuckle.

Now today?

Lance Allan: "Is it official now?"

"It is official," Memmel says. "I, you know, I finally decided to kind of jump in with both feet, and really just see how far I can take this journey."

It's an amazing story. On this morning, Memmel's daughter Audrielle is in the gym with a matching leotard.

"It was fun. You know, I take a turn, she gives me a hug. I feel like the best gymnast in the world," Memmel says.

Lance Allan: "No matter if you fell or did do it or whatever?"

"Right, yeah!" Memmel says.

Memmel is a world all-around champion and an Olympic silver medalist. But her return is not for the reasons you might think.

Lance Allan: "If you have a dream, and if you're still able to do it, why not go for it?"

"Yeah, why not go for it?" Memmel says. "It's, for me, I'm enjoying it. It's all about the joy for me. It's not because I feel like I have unfinished business or I feel like I need to prove something. I don't have to prove anything. I have 16, 17-year-olds reaching out to me sometimes and saying well, my coach said there's really not much left for me in the sport. I should start thinking about coaching. And I'm like, and it makes me so angry. And I'm like why? Why are we putting like this cap and this age limit on something that we enjoy doing. Something that we have fun doing. Something that's active?"

So what is success?

"Right now," Memmel says. "This, what I'm doing like right now, I feel is a success."

While for some, the pandemic has put life on hold. For Chellsie? It's made the comeback possible.

"The only reason why I have like a small chance at it is because it was pushed back," Memmel says.

Memmel hopes to compete soon, and continues to inspire mothers everywhere.

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