Life After Athletics

Introduction to Brittnee

My name is Brittnee Habbib, I was a former Canadian National High Performance Gymnast. Once I graduated high school I wasn’t sure what my next step would be. I made it on the Commonwealth Team, the Pan American Team and to the World Championships. But what’s the ONLY question everyone asks when you’re a high level gymnast? “Ohh did you go to the Olympics??”


…So in 2007, I had to make my first “big” decision. Do I train for the Olympics or do I get my education in order? Deep down I knew I wanted the Olympics, but I never believed it was something I could do. “I’m just not good enough…” (bad attitude right?) So I accepted one of the numerous full scholarships offered to me from US schools. It came down to the University of Nebraska (A Cornhusker) and the University of Utah (The Utah Utes). It was a tough decision, 2 very high ranked gymnastics schools, great education, amazing coaches and teammates and I was being introduced into a new world of gymnastics. After my recruiting trips, my decision was made. The University of Nebraska! It came down to 2 things, I loved how multicultural their gymnastics team was and I loved the food they gave me! Food is very important to me, I eat every 2 hours.


It was a big adjustment from the day I moved in, being the baby of the family from a major city (Toronto) to going out in the mid-west. I had to learn how to cook, clean and even wash my own hair...yes, I use to get help with that... I adapted fast. Even the gymnastics was different! Everyone had drive and confidence, and their mentality was different. Every single person wanted to win! Losing was NEVER an option, second place was a disappointment. My "Non-American" mentality had to change quickly if I wanted to succeed here. I was actually really impressed and inspired by this attitude. I thought to myself, “How can someone believe they are that good all the time?” Being around positive coaches and positive athletes who ALL had the same goal “be the best, and win while having fun” allowed me to see a different side of gymnastics for the first time in my life. For the first time, I saw what it was like to be part of a team...It wasn’t about YOU! My previous experience with high performance gymnastics taught that it was about the individual, and everyone was out to do the best for themselves...A very different type of pressure.


By changing my mentality from 'ME' to 'WE' and increasing my drive and confidence, I finally became an All American my last year in NCAA gymnastics and I finally found a real love for the sport. That being said, once your 4 years of college competitions are up, you cannot stay in school and continue competing. It was time for me to move back home to Toronto. Right before my move back to Toronto, I was asked to compete in the first ever professional gymnastics competition hosted by the International Gymnastics Camp. A great “ending” to my gymnastics career. Or at least I thought it was the end…



I moved back to Toronto December of 2011. What now…work in an office? Get a 9-5, make money? At such a young age, I achieved so much, who am I outside of this sport? Could I ever re-achieve at such level? What does a former elite athlete do once their “career” is over?


This is an introduction to me and I will continue to share my trials and tribulations of life after gymnastics and the pursuit of self discovery, following my dreams and having the confidence to take what I've learned to the next level.


If you have a topic you’d like me to touch base on, I would love to hear your suggestions!


Talk to you all soon! Next Post


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