Player's Own Voice podcast: Rosie MacLennan gets the big picture

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Canadian trampolinist Rosie MacLennan is seen competing in qualification heats during the Tokyo Games. (Leah Hennel/The Canadian Press - image credit)
Canadian trampolinist Rosie MacLennan is seen competing in qualification heats during the Tokyo Games. (Leah Hennel/The Canadian Press - image credit)

Rosie MacLennan has never lacked for admirers, but the four-time Olympian and only Canadian ever to deliver back-to- back golds in the same event earned a whole new level of respect in Tokyo this week.

It wasn't just that her trampoline routine drew gasps from judges, or that she soared to fourth place on a barely-healed ankle fracture. MacLennan's first words as she entered the obligatory interview mix zone, were congratulations to her fellow competitors.

A graceful gesture in the spotlight, sure, but MacLennan has put action behind those words for nearly two decades now.

She is devoted to the causes of women and girls in sport. Her masters research was all about rights and responsibilities for athletes. And while school kids across Canada have suffered setbacks during the pandemic, Rosie has consistently fought to keep physical literacy on the agenda.

Taking a thoughtful twenty minutes in the International Broadcast Center with Anastasia Bucsis this weekend, MacLennan was obviously happy to skip any talk about her historic competitive career — and instead argue for the virtues of 'disorganized play' among youngsters.

Which only confirms what her fellow athletes have said about her all along. Give Rosie MacLennan a platform, and she'll rise to it.

Player's Own Voice will be working straight through the Tokyo Olympics, dropping episodes every day or two. These are more casual, intimate conversations with athletes at the pinnacle of their careers.

Like the CBC Sports' Player's Own Voice essay series the podcast allows athletes speak to Canadians about issues from a personal perspective.

To listen to the entire fourth season of POV podcast, subscribe for free on Spotify, iTunes, Google Podcasts, Stitcher, Tune In or wherever you do your other podcast listening.

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