Two are virtually always better than one.

They can bounce ideas off of each other for creative purposes, combine their experiences together to make better decisions and share the rent or mortgage to save money.

Especially if they are close like twins.

The notion of twins being double the strength was masterfully advertised by Doublemint gum.

Doublemint is a flavor of chewing gum made by the Wrigley Company; which, according to early advertisements, is “double strength” peppermint flavored. article, photo article, photo

One of the most notable aspects of this brand is the advertising campaign, begun in 1956, which utilized twins as spokespersons for the gum, as a play on the word “double” in the name. The original “Doublemint Twins” were Jayne and Joan Boyd of Hammond, Indiana.

Given her incredible accomplishments in the gymnastics world, watching England’s Rebecca Downie, double the strength, you would think that you’re seeing double., article, Minkus Images, article, Minkus Images

And you know what? Depending upon the event, you would be right.

She has a younger sister named Ellie.

Most mistake them for twins. They are similar in elite gymnastics skills, as they should be. article photo credit article photo credit

Let’s introduce you to Becky as she’s also affectionately known by.

Rebecca was born January 24, 1992. article, photo credit article, photo credit

She is a British artistic gymnast who also competes for England at Commonwealth Games level. Considered a specialist on uneven bars and beam, she is the double European (2014 and 2016) and 2014 Commonwealth Games champion on uneven bars. Rebecca competed at the 2008 Summer Olympics for Great Britain, and was a reserve for the 2012 Summer Olympics team.

She is also very gregarious.

Let’s lend an ear as she shares a piece of her life with us found at her enjoyable site “Before gymnastics I studied ballet, tap and stage dance. The dancing didn’t really work out for me so I decided to try gymnastics as a school friend did it, so I thought I’d give it a go!

I started gymnastics when I was 7 at Bigwood Gymnastics Club and trained every Saturday morning, however this soon increased to 3 sessions a week. I placed 3rd at my first Regional competition and that’s when I decided to move to Notts Gym Academy. Once I moved to Notts the training soon increased again and I now train up to 30 hours a week.

I won my first British title when I was 12, competed in my first International when I was 13 and from then on I never looked back. Throughout my career I’ve had some amazing experiences which include going to two Commonwealth Games, six European Championships, seven World Championships and my highlight being the Beijing Olympic Games!

Outside the gym I love spending time with my family because I don’t get to see much of them when I’m travelling. I also love to shop, go to the cinema, design leotards and have fun with my friends just like any other regular girl.”

There is very little that is ordinary and regular about Rebecca. Please take a deep breath and look at her accomplishments:

  • 2015 Double European silver medalist
  • 2015 World team bronze medalist
  • 2014 Double Commonwealth Games GOLD medalist
  • 2014 European bar champion
  • European championships 2014, team silver
  • 2013 & 2014 World bar finalist
  • 3 times World Cup medalist
  • 7 times British AA champion
  • European championships 2010, team silver
  • World championships 2011, team 5th
  • Double commonwealth medalist
  • Britain’s best female AA Olympian – 2008
  • 2006 Commonwealth Games silver and bronze medalist

Her younger sister Ellie Downie is also an international elite gymnast who is the 2014 European Junior champion on vault. Both Downie sisters won their European titles on the same day.

Rebecca is sturdy. In 2012 she was omitted from the British Olympic team and in her mind, it felt very close to being dead. It was thoroughly devastating.

She didn’t give up.

Growing up in Nottingham, in a large family of five siblings, gymnastics dominated the household as first Becky and then Ellie caught the bug. The sisters are very close and as of this writing, they still live together in the family home.

Okay, we are very interested in the village that helped raise and influence them.

Nottingham is a city in Nottinghamshire, England, 30 miles south of Sheffield and 30 miles north of Leicester. article, wikimedia photo article, wikimedia photo

Nottingham has links to the legend of Robin Hood and to Raleigh bikes.

In 2013, Nottingham had an estimated population of 310,837 with the wider urban area, which includes many of the city’s suburbs, having a population of 729,977.

It has two universities, the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University, which are attended by over 60,000 students.

Joy abounds in England and Nottingham swells with excitement. The respected and fun travel sight Lonely Planet capsulizes, “Forever associated with men in tights and a sheriff with anger-management issues – aka the Robin Hood legend – Nottingham is a dynamic county capital with big-city aspirations, atmospheric historical sights, and a buzzing music and club scene thanks to its spirited student population.”

There’s more.

The visitor site smiles, “Visit Nottinghamshire and you will discover plenty of things to do every day of the year. Go into the great outdoors and discover our fascinating network of caves and the enchanting Sherwood Forest. Or why not immerse yourself in our county’s history and culture, from Robin Hood and Nottingham Castle to literary heroes such as and DH Lawrence. article, wikimedia photo article, wikimedia photo

Nottinghamshire is also the perfect place for a fun-packed family day out, an action-packed weekend break or a lavish shopping trip.”

That was fun.

Oh by the way. You could also find out when the Downie twins are in town and watch them perform.

With the recent good news, you can watch them on television.

According to a July 29, 2016 article, “Finally, in mid-July, the British Olympic team was announced and it became official: the Double Downies had done it. After the disappointment of 2012, Becky would become a two-time Olympian at age 24, and her 17-year-old sister would be right by her side.

“It’s really nice to have my sister on my side when we compete,” Ellie said. “I feel like it makes you a little bit calmer, because it’s like having a really, really best friend on your team.”

Gymnastics and Olympic world look out. The Double Downies are ready to soar.

At the 2016 Olympics in Rio, Rebecca helped team Great Britain make history. article photo credit article photo credit

On August 21, 2016, as reported in the respected news source, “Nottingham’s Becky Downie has posted an emotional message on Instagram as she prepares to return home from Rio, saying she will never forget helping Team GB’s women’s gymnastics team to their best finish in an Olympics in almost a century.

Together with her younger sister Ellie Downie, Amy Tinkler, Ruby Harrold and Claudia Fragapane, Becky helped the women’s team, which they nicknamed the #SassSquad, enjoy their most successful Games since 1928.”

For most, making history is a life-long dream. Making history with your sister is an even better one.

That should not be surprising.

When it comes to the elite Downie girls, as in life, two are virtually always better than one.

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OPENING PHOTO photo credit

Sources:, Wikipedia,, FCI Elite Competitor, photos thank you Wikimedia Commons.