Leah Hennel/COC
Leah Hennel/COC

Ellie Black


Ellie Black made history at the 2017 FIG World Championships in Montreal, winning silver to become Canada’s first ever all-around medallist at the artistic gymnastics worlds.

She was part of more history at the 2022 FIG World Championships where she led Canada to the bronze medal in the women’s team event. It was the first time Canada had ever won a team medal at the artistic gymnastics worlds. The result qualified a women’s team for Canada for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Also at the 2022 Worlds, Black won silver on beam for her third career world championship medal, after placing fifth in the all-around final and fourth in the vault final.

It was also in 2022 that Black had an eponymous skill added to the FIG Code of Points for the uneven bars. This was a point of pride for her as the uneven bars had once been her weakest apparatus, but she had worked hard over many years to improve herself on it. At the 2023 World Championships, Black advanced to the uneven bars final for the first time in her career, finishing among the top eight in the world on the apparatus.

Black had produced a breakthrough performance for Canadian artistic gymnastics at Rio 2016, placing fifth in the women’s individual all-around for the country’s best ever Olympic result in the event. At Tokyo 2020, she finished fourth in the beam final for Canada’s best ever Olympic result in any women’s artistic gymnastics event. She was cleared to compete after withdrawing from the all-around final because of a sprained ankle suffered in training. 

Black previously enjoyed a historic performance at the 2015 FIG World Championships, finishing seventh in the women’s individual all-around for Canada’s then-best ever result in the event. She had qualified for the final with the fourth-highest score. It bettered her previous record ninth place finish from 2014. At the 2014 and 2015 worlds she also qualified for the beam final, making it four straight major global events in which she had been in the top-eight on an individual apparatus. She had reached the floor exercise final at the 2013 Worlds and the vault final at the 2012 Olympic Games. 

Black made her Olympic debut at London 2012 just months after she had been a longshot just to make the Olympic team, but ended up as one of the squad’s top performers (their leading scorer on vault and beam) en route to Canada’s best-ever fifth place finish in the team event. 

Black was one of five athletes to win five medals at Toronto 2015, making her Canada’s decorated athlete of those Pan Am Games. Her gold medal in the women’s individual all-around was the first by a Canadian in the event since San Juan 1979 and the first by a non-American since Caracas 1983. She made more history at Lima 2019 where she became the first woman to win back-to-back gold medals in the individual all-around at the Pan Am Games. That was one of five medals Black won in Lima, bringing her career Pan Am Games total to 10 and making her Canada’s most decorated gymnast ever at Pan Ams.

Black ended a lengthy drought at the 2013 Universiade where she became the first Canadian female artistic gymnast to win a medal at the world student games since 1983. At the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Black won gold in the all-around and helped Canada to its first team gold at the event since 1990. Later in the year, she was part of Canada’s best-ever fourth-place finish in the team event at the 2018 World Championships and qualified for the apparatus finals in beam and vault. 

In 2019 she won her sixth all-around national title, following a pair of all-around podium finishes at the Tokyo World Cup (silver) and American Cup (bronze). Black came close to another world championship medal in the fall of 2019 when she finished fourth in the all-around, just 0.167 out of the bronze medal position. Unfortunately, she sustained an ankle injury while competing on the vault, her last apparatus during the all-around competition. That forced her to withdraw from the apparatus final for the beam. An MRI revealed torn ligaments which required surgery to repair. 

She returned to competition in early 2020, competing on just uneven bars and beam at the Elite Canada meet in February. She competed in her first all-around competition at the American Cup in March 2020, finishing fifth. In 2021, Black won the all-around in the virtual Elite Canada and two Canadian Technical Trials leading up to the postponed Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. 

A Little More About Ellie

Getting into the Sport: Started competitive gymnastics at age 9… Had her Olympic dream sparked while watching the Beijing 2008 artistic gymnastics competition on TV; the Canadian team included David Kikuchi, who trained at her club in Halifax and is now her coach… Outside Interests: Studying kinesiology at Dalhousie University … Enjoys cooking and baking, watching movies and listening to music… Does presentations to schools on behalf of the Nova Scotia Sports Hall of Fame to inspire the next generation… Odds and Ends: Favourite motto: Dream big, don’t let anyone else set your limits… Inspired by training mate Hugh Smith to keep pushing for her dreams… Collects keychains and Starbucks mugs from her travels…

Olympic Highlights

Games Sport Event Finish
London 2012Gymnastics - ArtisticTeam - Women5
London 2012Gymnastics - ArtisticVault - Women8
London 2012Gymnastics - ArtisticFloor Exercise - Women15 QR
London 2012Gymnastics - ArtisticBeam - Women26 QR
Rio 2016Gymnastics - ArtisticAll Around - Women5
Rio 2016Gymnastics - ArtisticTeam - Women 9 QR
Rio 2016Gymnastics - ArtisticFloor Exercise - Women15 QR
Rio 2016Gymnastics - ArtisticVault - Women15 QR
Rio 2016Gymnastics - ArtisticBeam - Women44 QR
Rio 2016Gymnastics - ArtisticUneven Bars - Women31 QR
Tokyo 2020 Gymnastics - Artistic Beam - Women 4
Tokyo 2020 Gymnastics - Artistic Team - Women 10 QR
Tokyo 2020 Gymnastics - ArtisticAll-Around - Women 24 QR
Tokyo 2020 Gymnastics - Artistic Vault - Women 12 QR
Tokyo 2020 Gymnastics - Artistic Uneven Bars - Women 54 QR
Tokyo 2020 Gymnastics - Artistic Floor Exercise - Women 63 QR

Notable International Results

Olympic Games: 2020 - 4th (beam), 10th (team), 24th QR (all-around), 12th QR (vault), 54th QR (uneven bars), 63rd QR (floor exercise); 2016 – 5th (all-around), 9th (team), 15th (vault), 15th (floor), 31st (uneven bars), 44th (beam); 2012 – 5th (team), 8th (vault), 15th (floor), 26th (beam)

Pan American Games: 2019 - SILVER (team), GOLD (all-around), GOLD (vault), SILVER (beam), BRONZE (uneven bars), 4th (floor); 2015 – SILVER (team), GOLD (all-around), GOLD (beam), GOLD (floor), BRONZE (vault)

Commonwealth Games: 2018 – GOLD (team), GOLD (all-around), SILVER (vault), 4th (floor), 6th (beam), 14th (uneven bars); 2014 – 4th (team), 4th (all-around), SILVER (vault), 4th (uneven bars), GOLD (beam), BRONZE (floor)

FIG World Championships: 2023 - 5th (vault), 8th (uneven bars), 16th (all-around), 15th (beam), 13th (floor), 12th (team); 2022 - BRONZE (team), SILVER (beam), 4th (vault), 5th (all-around), 20th (uneven bars), 20th (floor);  2019 – 4th (all-around), 7th (team), 10th (vault), 8th in QR (beam), 17th (uneven bars), 21st (floor); 2018 – 4th (team), 12th (all-around), 5th (beam), 7th (vault), 15th (floor), 17th (uneven bars); 2017 – SILVER (all-around), 4th (vault), 7th (floor), 8th (beam), 12th (uneven bars); 2015 – 6th (team), 7th (all-around), 7th (beam), 12th (vault), 16th (floor), 29th (uneven bars); 2014 – 12th (team), 9th (all-around), 11th (vault), 34th (uneven bars), 7th (beam), 64th (floor); 2013 – 13th (all-around), 9th (vault), 28th (uneven bars), 15th (beam), 8th (floor)

Universiade: 2017 – SILVER (team), BRONZE (all-around), GOLD (beam), BRONZE (uneven bars), 4th (vault), 4th (floor); 2013 – 7th (team), 4th (all-around), 4th (vault), BRONZE (beam), SILVER (floor)

Pacific Rims: 2014 – SILVER (team), BRONZE (all-around), GOLD (vault), 5th (uneven bars), 6th (beam), 4th (floor)