Lauren Mitchell is a gymnast competing at the 2012 London Summer Olympics for Australia. She is the 2010 world floor champion and the 2010 Commonwealth Games all-around champion.

Lauren Mitchell, the 2010 world champion on floor, represents Australia's best hope for a gymnastics medal in London. The country has never won an Olympic medal in women's artistic gymnastics.

Mitchell could not match her world championship success of 2010 last October in Tokyo. Battling sprained ankles, she finished fifth in the floor exercise final. However, Mitchell was able to help secure Australia a team berth at the 2012 London Olympics.

Mitchell made history at 2010 Worlds by becoming the first ever Australian woman to win a world title. She claimed gold on floor exercise, topping newly crowned all-around champion Aliya Mustafina of Russia in the event finals. Ever the perfectionist, Mitchell said she was surprised to win because it wasn't her best performance. Mitchell said she initially misread her score and thought she had finished third before noticing she was in fact the world champion.

In her first event back from injury, Mitchell picked up four gold and one silver from the 2010 Commonwealth Games, including the all-around title.

When it rained, it poured injury-wise for Mitchell, who suffered a broken hand, sprained ankle, and groin injury over 10 months beginning with the hand injury in December 2009. She was forced to sit out several meets, but returned to competition for the Commonwealth Games in October 2010.

On beam, Mitchell performs a triple turn in a lunge position — a skill called a "wolf turn" that American Terin Humphrey debuted. "In 2005 my coach got the new code of points and she saw that turn and said everyone try it," Mitchell said. "It's one of those skills you either get or you don't get. I'm one of those people it just kind of clicked with. Since then I've been doing it on beam and then in '09 I started doing it on floor." At 2010 Worlds, Mitchell debuted the triple wolf turn.

With her Australian teammates, Mitchell finished sixth in the team event at the 2008 Olympic Games in Beijing. She competed on beam, floor, and vault. No Australian woman qualified for event finals and the highest Australian finisher in the all-around was 13th place by Georgia Bonora. (The other women's all-around competitor, Shona Morgan, was 15th.)

Mitchell says she is not a natural gymnast and has had to work even harder than most, including former training-mate (and Australian champion) Daria "Dasha" Joura. "Most things didn't come easy for me. I trained with Dasha Joura and she's like the most naturally coordinated person ever, so training alongside her and watching it come so easily to her, it made me want to get those skills, but I knew I had to work that little bit more to get them."

Mitchell listens to music to keep calm before a competition. "I really like Birds of Tokyo at the moment. I've liked them for a while now actually. If I have a bad day at training or whatever, I listen to Muse." Birds of Tokyo is an alternative rock band from her hometown of Perth.

In 2000, her father had to move to Beijing, China for work. Mitchell's mother stayed home with the four children to allow Lauren to continue training and so her siblings could stay in the same school. "My brother was three at the time and I was training, so my mother had to get everyone out of bed, drive me to training, drive everyone back, and get them ready for school. I don't know how she did it for eight years."

Mitchell's father moved back home before the 2008 Beijing Olympics. "If he didn't come back we would have moved to China after the Olympics as a family." Mitchell says she likely would have stopped competing in gymnastics if she had moved to China.

As a six year old, Mitchell was identified after her first gymnastics class because of her physical strength. Six months later, she was accepted into the prestigious Western Australia Institute of Sport. Mitchell is studying for a biomedical science degree.


How tall is she? How old is she? Where does she live? Find out here.

Age: 25 years old
Birthday: July 23, 1991
Height: 5' 1"
Weight: 97 lbs.
Birthplace: Subiaco, Australia
Hometown: Perth, Australia
Current Residence: Perth, Australia

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