Gymnast Marisa Dick had a good reason for being nervous as she went into the World Championships.
In addition to vying for top scores and the chance to compete in the 2016 Olympics, the 18-year-old athlete planned to debut a new move that had never before been completed in competition. If she landed the leg-switching, springboard-to-split mount on the balance beam, her move — and name — would go in the sport's official Code of Points.
"It takes a long time — I was doing 20 a day every day in practice," Dick told Refinery29 about her training regimen leading up to the late-fall competition in Glasgow, Scotland. "You only have one shot to make it count and make it named after yourself."
All that dedication and training paid off.
"It was incredible," Dick said during a break from training at the Ortona Gymnastics Club in Alberta, Canada. "As soon as I landed on the beam, I was like, Oh my gosh, yay! But then I was like, Wait, I have a full routine to do still... I was just really excited that it worked out."
The move, which carries her name, will be included in the sport's official guidelines for scoring routines moving forward, she said. The international body governing the sport, the Fédération Internationale de Gymnastique, confirmed to Refinery29 that the mount was added to the code and named for Dick. FIG's Blythe Lawrence wrote in an email that moves must be performed "cleanly" and "have a considerable level of difficulty in order to be named for a gymnast."
Dick, who placed 77th overall in the meet, celebrated her accomplishment with a video montage on Instagram showing her nailing — and, in some cases, missing — the landing. The video and story behind her signature move later caught the attention of outlets like the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation and The Root.
Although this wasn't my best meet due to dislocating my rib the day before in training, I'm thankful I was able to push through and have a pretty great meet. The highlight of my experience at the 46th world championships in Glasgow was getting this skilled named after myself. At my first worlds in 2013 I witnessed @victoriamoors_ , @simonebiles , @silvia_cp17 and a few others achieve and submit a brand new skill into the FIG code of points, what a legacy. Theirs, mine and so many others names will forever be recognized in the gymnastics world. I would like to thank all my friends, family, supporters and most of all, all my coaches that have helped me get to where I am today. Without you guys pushing me and looking up to me I would not have made it this far. I love you guys❤️ Always set dreams and goals for yourself no matter how big or how hard they seem, if you want it bad enough you will achive it. My biggest goal since 2013 was to submit a skill in the FIG code of points 🔓 My biggest dream since I was old enough to know what it was is to go to the Olympic Games 🔒 #rio2016OlympicGames Congratulations to my teammate @themarttt , you had the best meet of your life and what a competition to do that at! You have grown and improved so much as an athlete even in the last few years that we have been teammates. We did this together! Behold..... The Dick
With "The Marisa Dick" officially in the books, the dual citizen of Canada and Trinidad and Tobago is focusing on achieving a goal that she's had since she was a tumbling toddler: making it to the Olympics. She's currently second in line for a spot to represent Trinidad and Tobago at the 2016 Games in Rio this summer.
Dick's also developing another new skill that could give her a second entry in the Code of Points. But mum's the word when it comes to that new move.
"I can't give anything away just yet," she said.