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Ellie Black poses with medal

STRIVE: Back to Back for Black – How You Helped Make it Happen

Every athlete has a dream. Every athlete has a goal. Artistic gymnast Ellie Black is no different.

As the most decorated Pan Am gymnast with 10 medals – 5 from the 2015 Games in Toronto and 5 from the 2019 Games just this month in Lima, Peru, this woman is a powerhouse and she’s not afraid of soaring to new heights for Tokyo 2020.

Gymnast does a split leap on the beam

LIMA, Peru – Ellie Black of Canada competes in women’s artistic gymnastics individual all around at the Lima 2019 Pan American Games on July 29, 2019. Photo by Christopher Morris

What you may not know is that until earlier this year, Ellie had been training on beaten and battered equipment. Her vault was in disrepair and she and her club were in desperate need of a new vault.

RELATED: Ellie Black to be Team Canada’s Closing Ceremony flag bearer at Lima 2019

Proper equipment is imperative for top performance, especially at the elite level. If they are training on faulty or broken equipment, not only is an athlete not getting the most out of their training, but they are at a much higher risk for injury. An easily preventable injury that could potentially put an end to their Olympic dreams.

But equipment is incredibly expensive. A vault, like the one Ellie needed for training, is just shy of $10,000. Not exactly pocket change for most Canadians and definitely not something an athlete can afford themselves or their clubs could dig up at a moment’s notice.

RELATED: Black wins individual all-around Pan Am Games gold in Toronto

Even on less than perfect equipment, Ellie was able to train and win FIVE more medals at the Pan American Games in Peru…imagine what she and her teammates could accomplish if they had access to a top of the line vault? Possibly even the exact one she will have the opportunity to perform on at Tokyo 2020 and the chance to win her first ever Olympic medal?

Now imagine being the donor who can say “I made that happen. I helped Ellie Black win her first Olympic medal”. An anonymous donor to the Canadian Olympic Foundation has made the first step towards helping that dream come true. Earlier this year, we heard about the need Ellie and her teammates had for a new vault and we made dreams happen.  Ellie and her club are now practicing on a top of the line vault, purchased thanks to one of our generous donors who stepped up to help Ellie soar.

RELATED: Day 4 at Lima 2019: Ellie Black becomes Canada’s most decorated Pan Am Games gymnast

We make miracles happen every day for our Team Canada athletes, and it’s all thanks to generous Canadians like you. There are sport organizations around the country that are constantly looking for funding for particular projects including equipment for our elite athletes. For more information on specific Olympic sports, or to make a general donation to the Foundation, you can reach out to us at or 1-888-377-7073.