details on gymnastics death in Australia

A few more facts have been released, including the name of the gymnast who seems to have had a strong gymnastics background:

The mother of a 19-year-old gymnast who died last week in Townsville in north Queensland says there was nothing freakish about the training accident.

Michelle Maitland hit her head after a falling from the tumble track last Thursday.

She was admitted to Townsville General Hospital in a critical condition and died early on Friday.

Workplace Health and Safety Queensland is investigating the death.

Her mother, Anne Maitland, says a safety mat was missing from where it would normally be and her daughter hit her head on the concrete.

Nothing freakish about fatal gymnast’s accident, mum says

Initially I feared this might be a “dumb” Adult Recreation gymnastics fall. But to me it sounds only a very sad and unfortunate accident.

We have the same problem in my gym. Reminding everyone to return safety mats to their normal location.

My condolences to the family.


I am Michelle Maitland’s mother. Thanks for condolences. Michelle was not doing anything radical at Gymnastics Townsville and had only returned to the adult class this year, not having been inside a gym centre since 2002. Yes, it would have been a good idea for Michelle to check the mats herself but was just going around a normal circuit with the group and coach. She did a layout off the tumble tramp’ and I am guessing she realised the crash mat was not there as she went over and tried to pull the somersault short so as to land on the thin mat immediatly at the end of the tramp- that would have made her feet skid forward and her head smashed into the concrete. A very basic error. No reports have been completed by WH&S or the Coroner as yet. I have advise the Gymnastics officials at a state and national level that I would expect them to install some sort of safety flooring or permenant matting in all gyms but they are waiting for the reports before taking any voluntary action. Even the rubbery material put around all playground equipment would be better than concrete I believe.

Published by

Rick Mc

Career gymnastics coach who loves the outdoors, and the internet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.