A YOUNG Thornlands gymnast is a few steps closer to achieving his dream of representing Australia and winning gold – like his idol Commonwealth gold medal gymnast Thomas Pichler, who also lives at Thornlands.
Jack Miller, 12, is ready to take on the world as part of the Australian National Squad at this year’s National Championships in Sydney on May 21 to June 2.
Although Jack is still too young to compete at the London Olympics which start on July 27, the Sydney event will be used to select the Australian squad.
Jack won the spot in the national team after representing Queensland at the Australian National Titles in Canberra in July last year, where he came eighth overall in the level six under 12 category.
Under the guidance of coaches Sam Simpson and Sean Wilson, he won silver on the rings and bronze on the pommel at the event, along with a gold medal as a member of the Queensland team.
In April, he also won the state championships winning gold on the rings, vault, pommel and silver on the high bar and fourth on the floor and parallel bars.
This qualified him to compete in the Australian Nationals in Sydney, this month.
His national team listing was a dream come true for Jack, who started gymnastics when he was six in the UK, where the family lived before emigrating to Australia in January last year.
Along with moving to Australia, last year was a big one for the budding, young gymnast.
In May that year, Jack competed in the Regional Championships held in Toowoomba where he came fourth overall in the level six under 12 category.
He also won gold on the rings and vault and bronze on parallel bars at that event.
A month later, he came fourth overall at the State Championships at the Sleeman Centre, where he also won a gold medal in the floor and vault event, silver on rings and bronze on the pommel.
Jack and his family left England, UK, in January 2011, to become permanent Australian residents.
After settling in Thornlands, where dad Terry is a tiler, Jack was selected to join the Men's Artistic Gymnastics High Performance Centre at the Sleeman Centre, Chandler.
He was also selected for enrolment at Belmont State School, where elite gymnasts study.
“We decided to move to Australia for a better life and arrived in January last year to become permanent residents,” Julie said.
“We were delighted when we realised Commonwealth gold medallist Thomas Pichler also lived in Thornlands.
“Thomas has become a role model for Jack, who looks up to him and wants to one day go to the Olympics and the Commonwealth Games just like Thomas.
“Thomas has made us feel very welcome in Australia and it was a huge relief to know there was someone we could talk to about training,” mum Julie said.