The Cardiff teenager determined to leave the Olympics with no regrets

Ruby Evans
-Credit: (Image: Team GB/Ben Duffy)

Cardiff teenager Ruby Evans is taking on her first Olympics with a ‘no regrets’ mindset.

The highly-rated 17-year-old will make history this summer as the first Welsh woman to represent Team GB in artistic gymnastics since Sonia Lawrence in 1996 after securing selection in the 13-strong squad for Paris 2024.

Evans’ uber-cool persona was first evidenced when she was spotted dancing and singing to other competitors' floor music at last year's World Championships, but she says she can turn it on when the pressure ramps up.

“Once I go on the stage, I feel like I need to showcase what I'm doing,” she said.

“So I have to show that game face, that I am calm and that I am there just to do my work but I don't really like to put any pressure on myself.

“I feel like whatever's going to happen is going to happen anyway. So I may as well just go out there, be calm and do my best.

“I go in my own zone. I don't really chat around to people. I just stay to myself.

“I’ll put some music on as that helps just to get me in the zone. Once I walk out there, it's just completely different. My mood just switches and when I'm out there I know need to do my work.”

Artistic and Trampoline Gymnastics Team Announcement for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, at Lilleshall National Sports Centre, on June 13 2024. -Credit:Ben Duffy/Team GB
Artistic and Trampoline Gymnastics Team Announcement for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games, at Lilleshall National Sports Centre, on June 13 2024. -Credit:Ben Duffy/Team GB

Evans made name for herself on World Cup debut when winning vault silver and floor bronze, and her stock soared further still when playing her part in a superb European team silver in May.

Despite her impressive displays, Olympic selection was not really on her radar.

“When I first got told I was like okay, but now we’re getting nearer I’m like ‘oh my god.’

“I was involved in a World Cup the day I found out so I woke up a bit earlier to have the phone call and I didn’t really understand.

“I was almost a bit zoned out, it was just unreal. I competed that same day and had a good competition after the good news.

“I was so proud when I found out I was selected. It’s amazing to get to hear, a bit scary, a bit nerve-wracking but I'm just going to enjoy it.

“I don't want to have any regrets. I’m obviously going to be focused but I want to enjoy the experience.”

Evans is one of over 1,000 elite athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme, allowing them to train full time, have access to the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering medical support – this is vital for her pathway to the Paris 2024 Games.

Of the six men and seven women selected in Team GB’s artistic and trampoline squad, eight are Olympic debutants and five are returning Olympians, including triple gold medallist Max Whitlock.

“Team GB has proven itself as a serious medal contender in all three of gymnastics disciplines selected and it is fantastic to head to Paris with athletes who not only have Games experience, but experience of standing on that Olympic rostrum,” said Chef de Mission Mark England.

Whitlock will spearhead the men’s artistic team and will become the first gymnast to win four Olympic medals on the same apparatus if he adds to his two golds and a bronze on the pommel horse in Paris.

“This Olympics is even more crazy for me because it’s going be my last one," commented Whitlock.

“I am excited to trust the process and give it everything I’ve got as there’s nothing to lose at this stage.”

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