Australian gymnast Alex Eade overcomes multiple forearm surgeries to win gold
It has been a tough five years for artistic gymnast Alexandra Eade both physically and mentally, but at the 2018 Gold Coast Commonwealth Games, her struggles turned to gold.
20-year-old Alex Eade recently claimed gold in the individual floor event at the Commonwealth Games after winning bronze alongside her fellow athletes in the team event. Alex said she was happy securing her spot in the final, but to win the event was very unexpected.
I definitely wasn’t expecting the gold, but I was overcome with so many emotions. It was such a proud moment for me, plus my family was sitting in the crowd so it was amazing!” told Alex.
One of Alex’s most favourite moments was listening to the Australian anthem on the podium to honour her success.
It was indescribable— one of my favourite moments. I love to dance and show off my personality and I think that is what I display in my floor routine. Having the crowd behind you when you finish a tumble, it really motivates you! You can never explain that feeling when you hear your anthem!” she smiled.
But it has not always been bright times for Alex. In 2013, she discovered she had stress fractures in her ulnas, but unsure of what caused it. The following year, doctors told her the pain was due to the fact her ulnas were too long for proper mobility. She soon had to have the painstaking surgery of shortening her ulnas by popping her bone in half, removing the excess and putting it back together.
It was a very difficult time for me. I also put on weight because I couldn’t exercise and then last year I had another surgery, this time on my left wrist in the joint,” she admitted.
I don’t do bars anymore because of my wrists,” she added.
She still copes with the pain in her wrists and forearms by alternating days of vault, beam, and floor to shift load distribution. Alex also has a physiotherapist to guide her through a forearm strengthening program.
Not only has she overcome physical challenges, but Alex is also a full-time student at Deakin University studying a Bachelor of Biomedical Science. Her gymnastics club is supportive of her studies.
Studying is quite important to me, and I think I’ve definitely learned discipline and time management from gymnastics,” told Alex.
The Melbourne-based gymnast started ballet training prior to gymnastics when she was a toddler but found it boring. Ballet has followed her though by being part of the gymnastics training regime.
We do a 30-minute ballet program—it is not intense but it is about working on posture and finishing the line because it is such an important thing in gymnastics.”
I do think that ballet has benefited my gymnastics, I only started doing it in the last six months and it has improved my overall balance, and my floor routine flows better,” she added.
With all of Alex’s optimism and self-motivation, she aims to grow her gymnastics career day-by-day and potentially see a future at the Olympics.