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Local teen's Olympic debut
Competing on the world stage and being able to train alongside some of the best athletes on earth was a dream come true for teenage Olympian Lidiia Iakovleva.
It has been a lifetime of hard work and determination, and the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020 has been "the most amazing experience" for Lidiia who recently turned 18.
Now she has her sights set on competing at the Commonwealth Games 2022.
The Olympic Games placed the Manly West athlete 23rd in the world in Rhythmic Gymnastics, competing in hoop, ball, ribbon and clubs.
"I think the Olympic Games are every elite athlete's ultimate dream. I got a little taste of that dream when I competed at the 2018 Youth Olympic Games," Lidiia said.
"That competition was such an amazing experience that I will cherish forever, and since those games I have had the dream in the back of my mind to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games."
The delay of the games due to COVID-19 gave Lidiia enough time to reset, improve weaknesses and develop strength in the lead up to the new Olympics trial date.
She trained with grit and dedication under the guidance of her coach and mum Iuliia with the support of the Aspire Gymnastics Academy.