Growing up in Llanelli, Elizabeth Popova was in awe of the older gymnasts at her gym.
So much so, that as a toddler she would copy and learn their routines, beginning a lifelong love for the gym and rhythmic gymnastics.
But the Carmarthen-born 15-year-old – who will be among the youngest athletes representing Wales at the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham in July - was brought up with a love of all sports, coming from a family who lived and breathed sporting enjoyment and excellence.
Her mother, Ioana, competed for Bulgaria in international gymnastics tournaments, while her father, Petar, was a professional Bulgarian basketball player.
Hailing from the capital city Sofia, the family made the move to Wales around 20 years ago. As keen athletes themselves, Ioana and Petar Popova sought to instill a love for sport in their two young children.
Elizabeth was able to enjoy lots of sports both at home and at school before choosing rhythmic gymnastics, but she stresses the importance of playing lots of different sports with her friends and family.
“I was always in the gym from when I wasn’t even walking, sort of falling around and crawling about. I properly started joining in with classes when I was around four. I was quite young, but I loved it, so I didn’t mind,” she explains.
“I also used to go to my brother’s football games. I’d be messing about in the fields, trying new things. I played some football, just a kick-about to have some fun.
“When I was younger, I never took it as seriously as I do now. I just used to have fun and do what I wanted to do, and I eventually stuck with rhythmic.
“It builds a lot of character being in a sporting environment. You learn how to work in a team and how to support each other.
“It has helped with my confidence and if I am struggling my parents can always advise me as they have been through similar things.”
Not only have Elizabeth’s parents competed at international level, but her brother Chris has also been impressing with his football skills.
He has featured for Manchester United and Leicester City for their Under 18’s teams, scoring 15 goals in 20 appearances for Leicester in one season before progressing to Premier League 2.
Chris has also gone on to join the family as international athletes – representing Wales age-group football teams at U18s and U21 level.
Elizabeth grew up watching her mother coaching gymnastics and was captivated with the sport from a young age.