TORONTO — Two-time Olympic gold medallist Rosie MacLennan announced her retirement from competition on Friday while still working to make gymnastics and all sports safer in Canada.
The 34-year-old represented Canada at four Summer Games, winning in trampoline twice. She made history at the Rio Games when she became the first trampolinist to ever win back-to-back Olympic gold medals.
MacLennan has most recently served as the chair of the Canadian Olympic Committee’s athletes commission.
“It’s time for my next chapter — one where I will continue to push for stronger sport governance, accountability, and for athletes to be seen as partners in the sport system,” said MacLennan in a post to her Instagram account. “I will work so that more girls stay in sport and have opportunities to pursue professional sport as a career path.
“I will continue to use my voice and energy to make sport better for the next generation.”
Longtime coach Dave Ross said that he was sorry that MacLennan is retiring from competition but he’s pleased she’ll continue to have a positive impact on sports in Canada.
“She was a phenomenal superstar,” said Ross. “I was just happy to work with her and someone of her capabilities. Not too many people like her come along so it’s sad to see her go, but it’s good to see her in a place where she’s still thriving.”
MacLennan has been one of the most prominent athletes to call for change to Canada’s national sports organizations. Hundreds of Canadian athletes in gymnastics, boxing, and bobsled and skeleton have called for independent investigations into their sports.
Hockey Canada and Gymnastics Canada have both had their financial support from the federal government paused as both organizations remain mired in controversy over allegations of abuse and sexual assault.
MacLennan said in Friday’s statement that she was grateful for the support she’s received from family, friends, and teammates over her 26-year career.
“I also recognize that not everyone has had this experience and that breaks my heart,” said MacLennan. “Sport, when done right, is an incredible gift and I want nothing more than to ensure as many Canadians can experience that gift.”
MacLennan was dominant at all levels of competition over her lengthy career.
In addition to competing at the Olympics at Beijing 2008, London 2012, Rio 2016, and Tokyo 2020, she reached the podium at several other events.
MacLennan won gold at the 2015 and 2011 Pan American Games, with a silver in 2007. She was also a seven-time medallist at the gymnastics world championships with two golds (2013, 2018), two silvers (2011, 2014), and three bronzes (2005, 2010, 2019).
“Trampoline has been such an integral part of my life and sport will continue to be, even if my role in sport is changing,” said MacLennan. “My experience as an athlete has exceeded even my wildest childhood dreams.”
This report by The Canadian Press was first published Dec. 2, 2022.