Hamish Carter (OV2017) Update and Tokyo 2021 Aspirations
Gymnast Hamish Carter (OV2017) is currently studying at the University of Illinois. He has represented Team Scotland at the Commonwealth Games and hopes to represent Team Great Britain in Tokyo 2021.
Moments after Hamish performed his winning BIG 10 High Bar routine in Iowa
Gymnast Hamish Carter (OV2017) is currently studying at the University of Illinois, Champaign, Illinois. He has represented Team Scotland at the Commonwealth Games and hopes to represent Team Great Britain in Tokyo 2021.
Hamish competes in the team event but specialises in the high bar and parallel bars, because of the ‘many different skills that can be learnt on these apparatus’ they are also his favourite. In 2018, Hamish travelled to the Gold Coast, Australia, to represent Team Scotland at the Commonwealth Games. There were over 5000 athletes from 18 different sports making up 275 events. Hamish returned home with a bronze medal from the team event, as well as placing 6th in the individual all round, 4th on the floor and 8th on high bar. This was the second time Hamish had attended a multisport event, which he said have a ‘very different vibe’ to just gymnastic events. He remembers being the most nervous he has ever been performing in front of seven and a half thousand people in the arena, but the atmosphere was ‘electric’, and he would do it ‘all over again’.
Competing at the Commonwealth Games has been the highlight of Hamish’s career so far, but it all began back when he was just three years old. In his own words, he was a ‘liability’ and he had so much energy his Mum wanted him to ‘use it properly’ and so enrolled him in gymnastics in Nottingham, where they used to live. Growing up, living and breathing gymnastics, Hamish began to follow current athletes who he was constantly inspired by. He remembers attending the World Championships in Stuttgart, Germany in 2007 as a nine year old and knowing, as he watched the competitors, that that was where he wanted to be and gymnastics was what he was meant to do.
Hamish attended Bishop Vesey’s from Year 9 until Year 13. During his A-Levels, when he did Spanish, Biology, Chemistry and French until AS, he would be training six days a week for four hours a night. Looking back, he remembers how tired he was all the time, but is happy and proud with how he did.
After Vesey’s, Hamish moved to the University of Illinois, following in the footsteps of a friend, Australian gymnast Clay Stephens. After seeing how settled and well supported Clay was, Hamish was convinced to make the move to the US as well. Since being there he has had great support and communication from Great Britain; so much so that other GB athletes, such as Josh Cook, are following in his footsteps. Hamish is ‘very happy’ with where he is and part of this is down to the great relationship he has with his coach, who is a ‘coach and a leader at training but a great friend outside of it’. Having this kind of strong relationship is important in any sport, but particularly gymnastics. Inside the gymnastics team, Hamish has also formed strong bonds as the college culture allows relationships to be sustained. He describes it as a ‘brotherhood’ and knows these people will be ‘friends for life’.
Hamish has enjoyed his time at university in the US. He enjoys the independence and ‘discovering the new American culture’, despite missing ‘a good curry’, which he says the Americans ‘aren’t so big on’ and HP sauce. When his parents visited in January ‘they had to bring a bottle of brown sauce and my coffee from home over’. One of the hardest parts of moving away from home has been not seeing his parents and younger brother, Angus (OV2019), all the time, although they regularly keep in contact. Having said that Hamish has found that ‘not being comfortable all the time is the best possible way to grow’.
Currently, just like the rest of the world, Illinois is in lockdown due to the coronavirus pandemic, so although there is a fully operational gym just down the road from Hamish’s apartment, he is unable to use it. However, he managed to borrow a small pommel horse from the gym just before lockdown began, so whilst when he practises, he is only a foot from the TV, he can make the best of the bad situation. Hamish is also receiving “homework” from his coaches including stretching and strength and conditioning but at the moment he can only do around 5% of his usual regime due to the lack of equipment.
Due to the lockdown, the Tokyo Olympics 2020 has been postponed until 2021 which Hamish has now shifted his attention to. As he enters his junior year of college in the fall, and his gymnastics season begins again in January, he will have a lot of time to prepare. Before the Olympics next year, Hamish hopes to defend his Big 10 high bar title, win an individual event and a team event at the NCAAs.
Looking forward to next year Hamish says he can’t wait to ‘see what it holds but so much is going to happen to between now and then’ so his focus is just ‘becoming the best gymnast I can be’.