CAMBRIDGE – Olympic gymnast Victoria Moors announced her retirement from the sport on Sunday (May 31) at the Canadian Gymnastic Championships in Gatineau, Que.
Considered by many to be a shoo-in for an inexperienced women’s Olympic squad in 2016, the 18-year-old Cambridge resident – who has competed very little this year – decided to walk away from the sport that will forever be connected to her name.
Just two years ago she finished the highest at the worlds for a Canadian gymnast (10th) and having a floor skill named after her.
“I’ve been doing it so long I guess, I just didn’t have the fire in me anymore,” Moors said in an interview with the Times.
“There’s another life after (gymnastics), so I might as well get it started now,” Moors said.
“There’s nothing more I could accomplish.”
That is an understatement. Moors has been in the spotlight since she became a member of the Canadian gymnastics team five years ago. In fact, Canadian officials were anxious for Moors to turn 15 so they could add her to the Olympic qualification squad in 2012 after the team finished in the top 16 during the first qualification.
Called the London Prepares Series test event, Moors finished second overall in floor finals, despite being the youngest gymnast at the event, then was first overall in points at the Canadian Olympic team selection event and second overall in team selection points to make it to the London Games.
Competing with two micro-tears in a back muscle, Moors helped the Olympic team to a fifth-place finish, the highest ever for Canada in a non-boycott year.
As far as individual accolades, Moors has never finished lower than third all-around at the Canadian championship, has won Elite Canada and has never finished out of the top 10 all-around as a senior gymnast in an international competition, including a win at the prestigious Nadia Comaneci Invitational in 2013.
And, besides having the Moors named after her for a double twisting layout on floor – landing it successfully in an international competition before the U.S.’s Mykayla Skinner, the only other gymnast to practice the tumbling skill – she also has a dismount on bars in her namesake.
With so much success behind her and being under the microscope to get even better for 2016, Moors admitted long hours in the gym and preparing to compete takes its toll.
“Yeah, it does,” she said. “It’s kind of just hitting me now.
“It was just time.”
In fact, Moors took a break from training and competition after the Commonwealth Games in 2014 – she dropped out of the competition – and was ready to return to the gym after a two-month long sabbatical. But that competitive drive was short-lived.
“I guess I just needed a break at the time,” Moors said.
“I was planning to come back, but I just realized that it’s not worth it anymore.
“It was too much for me to handle. I tried my hardest to come back but I just couldn’t do it anymore.”
Now, Moors is looking toward the future, but isn’t sure what to do with her newfound freedom.
“I’m going to start coaching and passing on my knowledge. Maybe go to school,” she said.
“I want to do so many things, I just haven’t decided yet.”
Moors is already helping train girls of all ages at her home gym, Dynamo Gymnastics, so it seems like a natural progression for her.
“Some people just want to get away from it right away, but I enjoy coaching, so it’s maybe something I want to do.”
The one gymnast she won’t be coaching is younger sister Brooklyn, who is a premier provincial level gymnast, aspiring for the national level.
“She’s got her own personality and we’re very different.
“She’ll learn from my mistakes and she’ll see where I did well and where I didn’t. So hopefully that will guide her into being the right kind of athlete.”