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Jesse’s Olympic dream comes true


Sacred Heart College old scholar Jesse Moore will make history this month when he becomes the first South Australian male artistic gymnast to compete in an Olympic Games.

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The 21-year-old was selected for the Paris Olympic team after his success at the 2024 Oceania Intercontinental Championships in Auckland in May.

Jesse (pictured) began his journey at the age of six in kinder gym and was selected into a high-performance program after being spotted at a Come and Try session at Westbourne Park Primary School.

But Jesse said it wasn’t until he was about 14, when he moved into the international junior level, that his passion to make the Olympics kicked off.

“I competed in the 2021 continental championships for the Olympic quota spot for the Japan Olympics, this was also my first international senior competition,” he told The Southern Cross.

“Unfortunately, I had a few mistakes and didn’t make it, but from there I was pretty motivated to give it all it takes to get to the next one.”

The youngest member of the Commonwealth Games team in Birmingham in 2022, Jesse suffered a major setback when he injured his shoulder and was forced to withdraw from the rest of the Games.

“This was hard to come to terms with and the decision to have surgery meant I would miss the world championships that year and be out for about 12 months,” he said.

“However, I still managed to stay motivated to get through, thanks to all the support around me.”

While there was a lot depending on his performance at the Oceania Championships, Jesse said he was confident of his ability to perform as best he could.

“I believed that I had prepared well, I tried to treat it like any other competition and I feel like that helped the nerves going into it,” he said.

“All the support from the Australian lads I was competing alongside also made it feel that way…we all tried to get behind each other and treat it as a team competition rather than an individual one.”

Jesse’s grandparents travelled to New Zealand to watch him compete and along with the rest of the family were overjoyed when he won as it meant automatic selection in the Olympic team.

“As you can imagine everyone was pretty stoked,” Jesse said.

“My family and friends have been with me on my journey for my whole life so I’m glad I can share the achievement with them.

“Their support is always incredible, especially Mum and Dad considering they helped get me started on my journey.”

Proud dad, Steve, said accessing the scores from Auckland online and from Jesse’s grandfather was “a very nervous time”.

“When the final scores came in and we realised he had held on to win, it was a very emotional parent moment,” he said.

“It was also a sense of relief that he had now achieved his ultimate dream of qualifying for the Olympics. The amount of work he put in coming back from his shoulder surgery just 18 months earlier, we couldn’t be prouder”.

The SHC community was quick to show its support for Jesse who is grateful for the role the school played in “shaping me into who I am today” through “learning, friendships and life lessons”.

“So to have the backing from the community I feel very thankful.”

After moving to SHC Middle School from Ascot Park Primary, a specialist gymnastics school, Jesse found it more challenging to balance the workload, but he said all his teachers at the middle and senior campuses were very supportive of his sporting endeavours.

“I did have to sacrifice quite a few social events and the usual stuff during high school because I had training the next morning or preparing for a competition,” he said.

“Other than that, I just tried to stay on top of my school work outside of training…and I try to hang out with friends where I can.”

Jesse has been at the Australian Institute of Sport in Canberra for two and a half years where he is also studying a Sports Science degree at the University of Canberra.

He will attend a training camp in Paris before moving into the village for the Games which begin July 26.

His parents Steve and Trenna, brothers Ethan and Daniel, and a few other family members and friends will be there to cheer him on as he competes on the world’s biggest sporting stage.

As for the mantle of being SA’s first male Olympic gymnast, Jesse said it “just makes it more special”.

“Most of the pressure is off my shoulders now after qualifying, so I have hopes to just give it all I can and leave everything out there.”

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