Jamaica’s Danusia Francis: ‘I’ve done it, I’ve accomplished my dream’

Written by John Crumlish for International Gymnast Online

Thursday, August 26, 2021

Photo courtesy of Danusia Francis

With this vignette on Jamaica’s Danusia Francis, International Gymnast Online continues “Tokyo Takeaways,” a series of flashbacks featuring behind-the-scenes quotes from personalities at the recent Olympic Games in Tokyo.

Jamaican gymnast Danusia Francis worked too hard, endured too much and came too far to let a freshly torn ACL sideline her from fulfilling her Olympic quest in Tokyo.

“Being out there is really special,” said the radiant Francis, who was reserve on the British Olympic team in 2012 and began representing Jamaica in 2015. “Even if I can do only a bars routine, I can say, ‘I’ve done it, I’ve accomplished my dream.’”

The 27-year-old Francis has displayed the same resolve and adaptability in her other pursuits. She earned a degree in English at UCLA, where she competed from 2013-16. She advocates for #gymnastalliance, the social media movement established last year to promote positive changes in the sport following worldwide exposure of abusive coaching practices.

And, even while training in the years leading to Tokyo, Francis has been thriving in her daring side hustle as an in-demand stunt performer. Her key work has included the 2017 MTV European Music Awards (where she tumbled into a car doubling for Rita Ora), Wonder Woman 1984 starring Gal Gadot, The Midnight Sky starring George Clooney and three episodes of this fall’s television series Invasion.

As accustomed as she is to negotiating new challenges and obstacles as a gymnast, Francis said she has not reached her limits on set.

“I haven’t had to do anything too risky yet, but the hardest one was probably doing all of the Amazon stuff in the opening scene of Wonder Woman 1984,” she said. “It was 18 feet high, and all we had were cardboard boxes at the bottom. Practicing it so it looked like a race, we had to get our timing really good. On the day of filming there were all these extra wires, so that got quite tough.”

Next up: Defending still rings champion Eleftherios Petrounias of Greece on his unique motivation for wanting success in Tokyo

International Gymnast Media’s John Crumlish was a gymnastics reporter for the Olympic Information Service at the Olympic Games Tokyo 2020, responsible for obtaining quotes and producing other content for use by media at the Games. Tokyo 2020 marked his eighth Games as an OIS reporter.

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