"When I finally made it to the Olympics with only tape holding my ankles together, I knew that what I had overcome to get there meant more to me than any result could have."

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Alexandra Orlando is an Olympic athlete who dedicated seventeen years of her life to the sport of rhythmic gymnastics, winning almost two hundred medals. She was Senior Canadian National Champion by the age of sixteen -a title she won five times, earning her the reputation as one of the few non-Europeans competing at the highest level in this sport. Alexandra began traveling all over the world, competing in international events and being thrown into the media at an age when most girls are hanging out at the mall. She set a world record for her sport by winning a gold medal in all six events at the 2006 Commonwealth Games in Melbourne, and won another three gold medals at the 2007 Pan American Games, being chosen as the Canadian Flag Bearer in the Closing Ceremonies of both Games. Despite injury, she competed at the Beijing Olympic Games in 2008, and retired from the sport at the age of twenty-one as one of the top ten gymnasts in the world.

Her incredible story is one of struggle and strength. Through it all, her family and friends watched the sport consume her; and every person that came into her life was affected by the constant fight for perfection, and the mental and physical exhaustion. Those who had the strength never left her side. And when the dust settled, a woman emerged who was stronger than she ever thought she could be. Reflecting back on her life as "Alex the Gymnast," Alexandra takes a deeper look on who she was during her career, who she had to be, and how this made her the person she is today

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