Rhythmic gymnast brings her ribbons to fashion school

Student by day, rhythmic gymnast and fashion designer by night; life is a fine balancing act for Kelsey Titmarsh.

Having put her routines to bed and long days of training behind her, Titmarsh is now focusing on being a student in Ryerson’s fashion program.

But before hitting the books, Titmarsh dedicated a majority of her life to gymnastics.

She joined the Canadian Junior National Team in 2005 and became a senior athlete four years later.

She competed in the Pan American Games, the World Rhythmic Gymnastics Championships and the London 2012 Summer Olympics.

Being a competitor was a full-time job, one that left little free time for the athlete.

Retiring from the sport has given Titmarsh a much-needed break, as well as the opportunity to do other things.

“It was kind of like a big breather,” says the second-year student about no longer having to train constantly.

“I actually get to meet friends, I actually get to go to parties. I never got to do that before.”

A high school field trip to a Ryerson fashion show, coupled with her long-time interest in fashion, inspired her to get off the competition track and into a classroom.

“I pictured myself in however many years, all my designs being on the runway,” she says.

Titmarsh says she hopes to marry her love of gymnastics and fashion by designing costumes for future Olympians.

Having travelled and seen different cultural styles, she says she has a lot of inspiration she can draw on.

“I would just love to be able to be part of that experience,” she says.

“A lot of what you wear represents how other countries see you and I think Canada’s done a wonderful job.”

This story was first published in The Ryersonian, a weekly newspaper produced by the Ryerson School of Journalism, on September 18, 2013.

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