How Did Danusia Francis Overcome Obstacles to Make the Olympics?

Samantha Peszek is on a mission to discover the secret of some of the best athlete’s in the world — what makes them tick, their commitment to success, and how they build confidence in their sport and in life. Utilizing Samantha’s Olympic network (she really does have cool friends), guests will divulge what it’s really like to compete at the highest level — the struggles, triumphs, and everything in between. You will have an opportunity to learn from some of the best athletes in the world and be able to apply relevant tips to your everyday life!

Sam welcomes to the podcast 2016 NCAA Balance Beam Co-Champion, 6x All-American and 2012 Olympic alternate, Danusia Francis. In this episode, Danusia discusses the unique experience of representing two separate countries in Olympic qualifiers. Danusia opens up about her training regimen, meeting Olympic legend, Usain Bolt, and balancing life while working to qualify for the next Olympic Games. Finally, Danusia talks about the lessons she has learned throughout her gymnastics career, her views on confidence, and her post-retirement plans.

Key Takeaways

  • Introducing today’s guest, Danusia Francis
  • Sam takes a moment to thank her sponsor, Tumbl Trak and Right Rice
  • Sam and Danusia share a fun fact about each other
  • The emotional moment Danusia found out she made the Olympics
  • The process of qualifying for the Olympics
  • How Danusia controlled her nerves throughout Olympic Qualifiers
  • Danusia’s training regimen leading up to the Olympic Games
  • What Danusia is most excited for in the future
  • Why Danusia wasn’t sure if she would try again to compete in another Olympics
  • Doubts Danusia experienced when she returned to Elite gymnastics
  • Balancing life while working out and training
  • Struggles Danusia faces with gymnastics as she gets older
  • Sam takes a moment to thank her sponsors Tumbl Trak and Right Rice
  • The decision to compete for Jamaica rather than Great Britain
  • Danusia recalls meeting Usain Bolt
  • Danusia discusses her experience as an alternate in the 2012 Olympic Games
  • Danusia discusses her emotional Olympic journey
  • What motivates Danusia to continue her pursuit to compete at an Olympic Games
  • The value Danusia places on vision boards
  • How Danusia’s confidence level has changed throughout the years
  • The most valuable lessons gymnastics taught Danusia
  • Danusia talks about the potential for retirement and her post-retirement plans
  • Sam asks Danusia a lightning round of questions
  • Danusia reveals one thing people can do to get 1% better each day
  • Danusia gives her thoughts on the postponement of the 2020 Olympics Games in Tokyo
  • Staying motivated during this period of postponement
  • How this news has affected Danusia emotionally
  • Where listeners can follow Danusia

Episode Quotes

“It’s not that I’m not striving for a medal, but I also know my potential. So, I’m striving to do the best I can, but I think I’ll be able to soak it all in knowing that I’m much older and just being where I am in my life. So, I’m just looking forward to being there with my coach who’s coached me since I was nine years old, and soaking it in with the whole Jamaican team, walking in the Opening Ceremony and literally taking it all in and tell my five-year-old self, ‘look you did it, you made it.’”

“I think gymnasts develop really high pain thresholds. So you’ve definitely got to learn the difference between a general ache and pain and when it could be something that could linger on or be more severe. I think you definitely learn that as you develop.”

“In the end I was within the Olympics in the sort of atmosphere, soaking it in. Luckily, obviously it was in London so I was around it all and I ended up having the time of my life. And it was sort of bittersweet and ended up a lot more sweet than I could ever imagine.”

“Once I eventually admitted that this was my goal, then I was able to put it down on a vision board. And, as it got closer and closer, I was writing it down every day: ‘I will qualify for Tokyo 2020.’ And I had it above my mirror, and I just manifested it way more than I ever manifested anything.”

Listen to the Full Episode



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Samantha Peszek

Olympic Medalist & NCAA Champion. ❤️ IN // LA Co-creator of the @thegympire