Happy to age ‘like a nice cheese’: Paris hopeful Godwin

Joanna Guelas |

Gymnast Georgia Godwin dreams of securing a spot on the Australian team for her second Olympics.
Gymnast Georgia Godwin dreams of securing a spot on the Australian team for her second Olympics.

Australia’s artistic gymnastics star Georgia Godwin says she’s aging like a nice cheese.

Godwin, 26, is past the age where gymnasts traditionally retire but she won’t let that stop her from chasing a second Olympics appearance and a first-ever podium finish.

The Queensland product, should she qualify, will walk into the Paris Games at the peak of her athletic abilities.

After debuting at the Tokyo Olympics, Godwin swept the floor at the 2022 Commonwealth Games, leaving Birmingham as the all-around and vault champion, with team, uneven bars and balance beam silvers to accompany.

Georgia Godwin.
Georgia Godwin takes in the applause at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. (Darren England/AAP PHOTOS)

Godwin also has seven Australian all-around titles as part of her extensive resume.

Having once admitted she thought she would retire after turning 18, Godwin is viewing her age in a different light.

“Mature. Vintage. Like a nice cheese,” Godwin said on Wednesday.

“As I’m getting older, I’m just looking at training a little bit differently.

“I’m trying to enjoy every single moment and just see where it takes me.

“At the moment, I am taking it step by step, so nationals then Paris if we end up getting selected.

“And then after Paris? I’m honestly not sure what I’m going to do. It really depends on how my body and my brain are doing.”

Such is Godwin’s current form that the sport’s international governing body named a skill after her in November.

Performed on the uneven bars, the Godwin move involves a clear hip circle forward to a handstand with a 360-degree turn in a handstand phase.

“Every single time I get asked (about the move), it’s a nice reminder that I’ve done this really cool thing,” Godwin said.

“I’m one of five female Australian athletes ever to get a skill named, like, holy crap.

“My skill took over a year, from trying it for the first time to actually performing it so it’s not something that just happens overnight.”

Georgia Godwin.
Georgia Godwin during her uneven bars routine at the 2022 Birmingham Games. (Dean Lewins/AAP PHOTOS)

Godwin recently claimed podium finishes at the Pokal Team Challenge and Mixed Cup in Stuttgart, Germany in March.

She won gold for her floor performance and silver on the balance beams, launching the Australian women’s team to a second-placed finish.

After coming ninth at the 2023 World Championships, one spot out of a team final, the women’s team will need to come out on top at the national championships in May.

“We’re looking really strong. We’ve really bonded as a group,” Godwin said.

“Hopefully, we can make that team final at the Olympics and show the world what Australia can do.”

AAP