Driscoll announces her retirement
Driscoll announces her retirement

Kent’s Kat Driscoll has announced her retirement from elite gymnastics after two Olympic games and a glittering career.

The 35 year old from Chatham, who now lives in the North East, twice won gold at the World Championships and represented Team GB in both the London 2012 and Rio 2016 Olympics.

An incredible career on the trampoline, starting out at The Jumpers Rebound centre in Gillingham and Kat went on to become the World Number One having gone full-time in the sport in 2010. She was the British synchro and individual champion a year later.

“I’ve had the time of my life,” she said, after announcing she was ending her competitive career. “Now it’s time for something new.”

Driscoll will remain involved in the sport after taking on a role within the British Gymnastics Performance team as a service officer for tumbling and double mini.

She said: “I am grateful for the career I have had, I have enjoyed the whole time I have been around and part of the sport, it has been 27-28 years, a long time.

“I have been to so many incredible places around the world and met some of the most important people in my life today because of this sport – and I will be eternally grateful for that. I am so proud of all the things I have achieved in my career but it’s not something I could have done on my own, it takes a mountain of people and quite often they do it all quietly in the background.”

Kat went onto win team and synchro gold at the World Championships in 2013, a year after representing Team GB in London where she narrowly missed out on a place in the final.

Driscoll finished sixth place in the Rio 2016 Olympics, having already made history by being the first British woman to have qualified for two consecutive Olympics in trampolining.

Kat began to develop back problems at the start of the year and while recovering she felt now was the time to call it a day.

“My body was starting to give me some signs that maybe 28 years is enough jumping,” she remarked. “I have given everything I could give and I walk away proud of what I have achieved and with no regrets. It felt like a nice time to move into the next chapter.

“To still be part of that world (as a performance service officer) and to help and contribute is what I am excited about.

“It has been phenomenal and a rollercoaster of a journey. I didn’t think I would get here and walk away as a two-time Olympian, they felt like dreams that weren’t necessarily achievable but I’m thankful my family have supported me in a way where they have never pushed me, they have always supported what I wanted to do.”

Kat’s parents, Mike and Pam have been there every step of the way, never missing a world championships since 1998.

Driscoll described London 2012 as a “never to be beaten” moment and the 2013 World team gold as another highlight, saying: “To share that success felt special – it was one of my favourite days.”

Kat will leave a lasting legacy in trampolining locally, nationally and internationally and the team at Kent Sports News would like to wish her well in her future career.

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