To an instrumental arrangement of ‘Feeling Good’, Australian artistic gymnast Georgia Godwin brought an end to England’s golden run in the Commonwealth Games women’s all-around.
A clean performance gave Godwin 12.950 on the floor, her total score being 53.550–her first Commonwealth Games gold medal, ahead of England’s Ondine Achampong (53.000) and Canada’s Emma Spence (52.350).
Her all-around gold medal is just one part of an incredible five medal haul at the 2022 Birmingham Commonwealth Games. Godwin had won a gold medal in the vault, and a silver with the team, and in the uneven bars, balance beam.
“There's been a lot that I've had to get through. I came into this competition with no expectations, I just wanted to do my best and here we are,” Godwin had said on the night.
“That was actually quite difficult for me going into floor because you don't want to stuff it up, so that plays on your mind.
“But I just said ‘no, you've done this 100 times … so just enjoy it. It's your last floor routine here. Just enjoy it. Get the crowd involved and smile at the judges.’”
Godwin began her gymnastics career at the age of three on the Gold Coast since “mum and dad couldn’t keep [her] off the trampoline at home”. She would go on to win the all-around titles at the 2011 and 2012 Junior Australian Championships.
She would continue to break new heights, making her senior debut at the 2013 Australian Championships, only to make her international debut the following year. Her international debut at the 2014 Nadia Comaneci Invitational also featured her first international titles: the gold medal in the all-around and with the team.
Godwin has since competed in further Australian Championships, as well as the World Championships. She made her Commonwealth Games debut in 2018 on her home turf, and her Olympic Games debut in 2021.
However, her appearance at the Birmingham Games wasn’t certain: she had contemplated missing the Games due to an extended recovery from twin ankle surgeries the previous year. It was clear after winning the individual vault at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, Godwin was emotional and vindicated.
She also has hope for the sport’s future. Where international gymnastics has been marked by abuse and toxic cultures, Godwin stands as an advocate.
“I do my best to try and show that gymnastics is a safe sport and that everyone should feel safe doing gymnastics,” she stated after her win at the Games.
“And we’re heading in the right direction, so that is really exciting to see.”
On her own future, Godwin has stated that she will take time to decide whether to pursue a World Championships or Olympics.
Godwin now stands as Australia’s equal-most decorated women’s artistic gymnast (alongside Allana Slater) with her five Birmingham medals and three Gold Coast medals.
Written by Joanna Guelas
Jo is a journalist and writer from Melbourne/Narrm. She is currently in her third-year of her BA (Media Comms/Politics) at the University of Melbourne and is a cadet at the Australian Associated Press. In her spare time, she plays local footy. She can also be spotted behind the camera at local footy matches.