Rosie MacLennan just gave Canada its sweetest double-double ever.
The 27-year-old gymnast successfully defended her gold medal in women’s trampoline on Friday, becoming the first Canadian athlete to win back-to-back golds in an individual Summer Games event.
“It’s so surreal,” said MacLennan. “I’m so excited and I’m really proud.”
MacLennan won Canada’s only gold medal at London 2012, and carried the nation’s flag into the Opening Ceremony in Rio. But she suffered a concussion during training last summer, with symptoms that lingered for months, affecting her preparation for these Games.
Even so, MacLennan—who also won gold at last summer’s Pan American Games—recovered in time to sit atop the Olympic podium once again.
“I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to come out here to compete at the Olympics again,” she said. “I can’t even describe it.”
It’s been a wild four-year ride for MacLennan, who joins an exclusive club of Canadians who’ve won multiple gold medals at the Summer Olympics. Her main takeaway from the experience, however, has been a message that will ring true for competitors at any level.
“The most important thing,” she said, “is to chase the dream and love the journey.”