The Full Story
Nicknamed ANGYMAC at school where I started my Aerobic Gymnastic journey, I have competed in the sport for 17 years
Coming from a background of dance I added aerobics when I was 12 years old.
I started competing in my first year of high school in a trio and pair along with my sister, Dianne McMillan. My sister and I came last place but this did not discourage us. We came back a year later to win.
In 1997 I represented New Zealand for the first time at the FISAF World Championships in Sydney, Australia. At just 16 years old competing in the Senior Woman category became the turning point in beginning my International career.
It was a huge ambition of mine to represent New Zealand and as my sister always said “things happen for a reason, will there be another chance”
In 2002 I met Paulo Santos. A Brazilian Aerobic Gymnastics Champion based in Japan and the head coach of the current Woman’s World Champion. Two years later of travelling back and forth from Japan and New Zealand I reached my goal of becoming the 2004 FIG (Federation of International Gymnastics) Individual Womans WORLD CHAMPION.
I had a personal goal of being World Champion more than once and being Champion of the prestigious SUZUKI WORLD CUP and ANAC INTERNATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIPS. Unfortunately, another World Championship title eludes me, but I reached my goal of winning two titles at both SUZUKI and ANAC Championships along with over 13 International titles.
The road of an international athlete has not been easy for me, nor should it be, to grow and develop into this role takes accomplishing a multitude of challenges along the way. I wouldn't change a thing. I’d still train on concrete, no space, no money to get to competitions and have to work more hours than I train and all my health challenges too, these things make us work harder to reach our dreams.
I have battled with asthma since a young toddler. In a sport where you need all the air you can get this was a struggle for me in normal daily activities, let alone flying around a stage at 160bpm smiling to the front and gasping for every breath facing the back. I have a lung that closes itself making for challenging times. Inconsistent training due to breathing difficulties, battling weight issues because of medications, restriction of medications due to anti-doping regulations sometimes left me thinking this is the sport keeping me alive! When I do not train my health starts to suffer more yet when outsiders see me train under what is considered healthy to me… they wonder how I do it!
Training in a minority sport in New Zealand brought a major disadvantage financially to myself and my family. For the past 17 years 90% of my travel and training has been self-funded. Juggling the balance of work and training was a major stress point. However in the back of my mind I knew money alone would not make me a champion, it is the challenges you overcome that propel us to be the greatest.
Aerobic Gymnastics has been my life. I often think how different life would be without it.
It has taught me how to look after my body, the importance of nutrition and how healthy and UN-healthy sport can be. I have sacrificed a lot for my sport and my goals but have had the most amazing experience of travelling to many countries, meeting many new people and friends and generally experiencing the World.
I am a very active competitive person, goal motivated and driven. Sport of any kind I believe is a way of life and should be apart of everyone’s no matter how big or small. The way we approach life or business is no different to how athletes approach and reach goals in sport. Hard work, determination and fighting for what they believe in.
A while ago I would have said the highlight of my career was becoming World Champion, but if I honestly think about it I would have the say the highlight was finishing my career. Everything I have worked for and everything I have learnt has shaped me into who I am and made me ready to embark on a new phase in life.
My passion in life is to share my knowledge and experience to help others reach their potential and live out their goals and dreams. To help others grow and enjoy the sport as much as I have.
National Champion 17 consecutive years
2003 FIG Mexican World Series Champion
2004 FIG World Champion
2005 World Cup Champion, Bulgaria
2006 ANAC Champion
2007 Suzuki World Cup Champion
2007 ANAC World Series Champion
2008 FIG World Championship 3rd
2009 World Games 2nd
2010 Suzuki World Cup Champion
2010 ANAC World Series Champion
2010 ANAC Champion
2010 FIG World Championships 3rd