in her own words

I started gym age 6. A school dinner lady saw me doing some cartwheels with girls in the playground that already attended the local club. She suggested to my mum that she take me. I started at Woodside Gymnastics Club in Watford a few hours a week. It was great but they could only take me so far.

I moved to Heathrow Gymnastics Club aged 12 mainly because of the facilities and the experience the coaches had. Woodside was a leisure centre which had a pull out mat floor, bars and beam etc. Vince, Michele and Natalia (Michele & Vince Walduck & Natalia Ilienko Jarvis) were my coaches at Heathrow but I always remember Victor Gavrichenko who was brought in to coach for the Birmingham World Championships in 1993. I loved him. Looking back he certainly got the best out of me and I missed him a lot when he left to go, I don’t know where or why he went.

I finished age 18 in part due to an injured ankle and failure of not making the 96 Atlanta Olympics. It upset me and the fact that the trial was a one-off competition made it hard to swallow at the time because I fell and came third with only two places available. It seemed like a good place to retire.

 I trained to become a pharmacy technician at Watford General Hospital. That was boring and I left after a seeing an advert for acrobats needed in a show at the Dome ( the O2 Arena). It was a 2 year contract; that was a fantastic time.

I then auditioned for Cirque du Soleil. I got a job with one of their shows, Alegria for 3 years before turning 26. I wondered how long I could go on doing a backflip. This was, however, another fantastic experience that took me on an Asian Pacific and North American tour with the company.

Zita Lusack gymnast performing on beam
Jackie Brady Zita Lussack Keren Szymko Anneka Reeder 1994
Zita Lusack in Cirque du Soleil pt 2
Zita Lusack in Cirque du Soleil pt 1
Zita Lusack gymnast performing on floor

I then went to the British College of Osteopathic Medicine (BCOM) for 4 years to train. I have been an Osteopath for the last 11 years. I have itchy feet and feel like I need a bit of an adventure again but the body is too old to flip around now. I salsa and jive twice a week and love Rueda of which I do every Tuesday.

 Like many girls my favourite gymnast when growing up was Nadia. I always thought I could maybe make it to Olympics but it wasn’t meant to be and I am more than happy with what I gained from my hours of training and my parents’ sacrifices. It was a brilliant experience that has shaped who and where I am today.

My major achievements.
1993 World Championships Birmingham, England.
1994 Commonwealth Games Victoria, Canada. Team Gold, Beam Silver and Bronze all around medalist.
1994 European Championships Stockholm, Sweden.
1994 World Championships Dortmund, Germany.
1994 World Championships Brisbane, Australia.
1994 Senior all-around British Champion.
1995 World Championships Sabae, Japan.
1996 European Championships Birmingham, England.
1998 British Sports Aerobics Champion – Trio event. Woking, England.(Heathrow GC has a world class programme for Aerobic Gymnastics)

Zita Lusack with the England Gymnastics Team
Zita Lusack gymnast performing a planch on balance beam
Zita Lusack autograph
June 2018