Amelie Morgan doesn’t have to reach into her memory bank to relive her journey to Tokyo — it’s all on reality TV.

The Slough gymnast, one of four women officially selected in Team GB’s artistic gymnastics squad on Monday, is one of the featured athletes on CBBC docuseries Gym Stars, which chronicles the ups and downs of elite young athletes’ lives.

The 18-year-old was delighted the television crews were there to capture the moment she could reveal she’d transformed from an Olympic hopeful to an Olympian.

Jubilant Morgan, one of over 1,000 athletes on UK Sport’s National Lottery-funded World Class Programme which allows her to train full-time, access the world’s best coaches and benefit from pioneering technology, science and medical support, said: “It was so unreal when I found out I was going. I just couldn’t believe it. I was so overwhelmed.

“It still doesn’t feel quite real because nobody knows, but it definitely has been very hard to keep such major news from everyone.

“We had to film all the reactions for Gym Stars, so watching that back was funny.

“My mum was the best reaction. I had to, like, turn the sound down. She was squealing, I would say, crying… it was a really funny reaction.”

Morgan’s was perhaps the most surprising name on the Tokyo-bound team of Olympic debutants, which also includes twins Jessica and Jennifer Gadirova and 2019 European beam champion Alice Kinsella.

Becky Downie, who tragically lost her 24-year-old brother Josh in May, was pipped by many to take the fourth slot, and her omission sent shockwaves across the gymnastics world.

But ask Morgan’s CBBC faithful about her accomplishments and they’ll tell you she holds the British record for women’s junior European medals, nabbing five in Glasgow in 2018.

This year, she walked away with her first senior major championship prize with an uneven bars bronze at the European championships, narrowly missing the podium in beam and all-around.

Now she will be hoping to add to the 864 Olympic and Paralympic medals won by Great Britain and Northern Ireland athletes since the advent of National Lottery funding in 1997.

Filming Gym Stars, Morgan believed, was valuable bonus prep for the very public pressure of being an Olympian.

She said: “The first time I had to do interviews and be on camera for Gym Stars, I felt so uncomfortable. It was not natural at all.

“I hated watching back the episodes, and now it feels so normal and natural.

“I definitely think it’s helped a lot with confidence and talking to people.

“It’s been a really good experience.”

Morgan, who also claimed two silvers and a bronze at the 2018 Youth Games in Argentina, said the experience would help her stay afloat in Japan.

She said: “That was definitely a great stepping stone. There’s probably a lot of experience before actually going to the Olympic Games.

“I feel like going straight out to Tokyo, you’d be thrown straight in the deep end.

“It’s nice I have a bit of experience before that, going to a multi-sport event with a whole big Team GB.”

Morgan was just nine years old when she first saw Olympic gymnastics on television during London 2012—though the energetic youngster could hardly sit still to watch.

Now, Morgan's young CBBC fans will be the ones tuning in, provided their parents let them stay up late.

She said: “I was just amazed watching them all [in London]. I never would have dreamed of doing anything like that.

“So to be in that position now just seems incredible.

“Me and my brother [were] bouncing off the walls, bouncing on the trampoline, watching the gymnastics in the background, and never expecting to be one of those gymnasts on the TV.”

Yet, that’s Morgan’s—perhaps unexpected—reality, and she’s more than ready for the Tokyo show to begin.

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