Top rhythmic gymnast Kelly MacDonald, 20, could well make it to the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow this July but sadly her strongest supporter won’t be there.
The rhythmic gymnast’s mother Michelle died last month, just two weeks before the national qualifiers, after a long battle with cancer.
The second day of the national trial was held on Mother’s Day and MacDonald was determined to make her mum proud – managing to get first and second placings.
“It was tough, it’s still really tough. That trial on Mother’s Day was awful but it helps to know that she really wanted this for me and that’s keeping me going,” she says.
“Mum and I made this dream when I was 10 or 11. It’s been a long time coming.”
MacDonald is one of six athletes vying for three places on the New Zealand Commonwealth team.
Her mum was a fashion designer and created the gymnast’s intricate costumes.
“What’s getting me through this is gymnastics, it’s a huge emotional outlet for me.”
But there’s more to the young Auckland athlete’s story.
The Mission Bay resident was diagnosed with epilepsy in January after a having a seizure while she was in America to compete. It was so severe she dislocated her jaw.