Kristian Thomas and Mimi Cesar with the Gold Coast 2018 Queen's Baton Relay
Kristian Thomas and Mimi Cesar with the Gold Coast 2018 Queen's Baton Relay

2022 Focus: "Birmingham is a big, big goal for me"

On the 22nd of every month, the CGF will look forward to the 2022 Commonwealth Games – offering different perspectives and insights about the XXII edition of the Commonwealth Games, to be held in Birmingham, England. This blog post comes from Mimi-Isabella Cesar, a rhythmic gymnast from the Birmingham suburb of Sutton Coldfield who has already competed at the Glasgow 2014 and Gold Coast 2018 Commonwealth Games for Team England. However, the 23-year-old believes a hometown 2022 Games would be the pinnacle of her long career…

 

I am having a bit of rest and relaxation time since getting back from Australia last month and also starting to think about my realistic goals over the next four years.

Birmingham is a big, big goal for me. Being able to compete at the 2022 Commonwealth Games would give a special meaning to my career, so I am going to do everything possible to be there.

There’ll of course be international competitions before then that will help raise my profile, including the Olympics and we will get the new Code of Points for Birmingham (the scoring criteria for gymnasts) that will help us plan our new routines to score the most points possible at the Games in 2022.
 

Mimi outside Birmingham's Council building

I’m deciding which competitions to enter to ensure I am ready for Birmingham and because I am relatively old in gymnastics terms, I know I need to prepare properly, look after my body and enter the right contests at the right time so I can get to 2022 in one piece!

It means so much and I can’t say enough how much I really want to be there, so will be doing everything I can to make that the case.

It’s always been my goal to win a Commonwealth medal because I’d only just started recreational rhythmic gymnastics classes when I was aged ten with the Melbourne Games in 2006 definitely inspiring my gymnastics.

After seeing it I said to myself “I have to be there in the future”. As a young person, it was so inspirational to see some of the world’s best in action.

Melbourne was also the first time I had ever seen a Butterfly Jump (one of rhythmic gymnastics’ more challenging moves). When I saw it, I knew I could do that. Of course, that meant my first attempt was predictably terrible, but I got better, trained and over time got it right.

It’s thought I am now the only gymnast who does three Butterfly Jumps in a row in their routine, giving me a trademark in my performances – and simply if it wasn’t for the inspiration offered by the Commonwealth Games to me, that wouldn’t be the case.

My competition persona is defined by the Commonwealth Games and I will always be proud of that.

Looking forward to what might happen in four years’ time, it is easy to say we love sport in Birmingham, but we really do.

Mimi and aspiring local gymnasts participate in the announcement of Birmingham as the host city of the 2022 Commonwealth Games, which took place in December 2017

I know the public will get behind the Games and we’ll have packed stadiums. There was a real buzz on the Gold Coast, and I’ll always remember being on the tram there on a non-competition day and being asked lots of questions by other passengers about what sport I was there for and how everything was going. Everyone was super enthusiastic and I can’t wait to see that at home in Birmingham.

We can equal what was offered by Gold Coast 2018 but we’ll do it differently, in a true Brummie way.

Being able to compete at the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games would give a special meaning to my career, and I hope I make the Team England squad when the time comes.

Support and follow Mimi on Twitter at @mimi_cesar