SPELBOUND star Douglas Fordyce has heaped praise on his former club-mates Shanie-Redd Thorne and Danielle Jones following their gold medal-winning heroics in Colombia.
The 23-year-old from Devon shot to prominence in 2010 as part of the spectacular Spelbound troupe which wowed judges, including Simon Cowell, on Britain’s Got Talent, a competition they went on to win in front of a mesmerised 15-million live TV audience.
Fordyce knows all about competing at the highest level of acrobatic gymnastics. In 2006 he became 11-16 mixed pairs world champion in partnership with Shelley Evans while a King Edmund performer and in 2010 - a great year for him – he was crowned senior men’s pairs champion at the World Acrobatic Championships in Poland alongside Edward Upcott, who himself went on to Spelbound fame, while the pair were together at the London-based Heathrow club.
By then Fordyce had already achieved a bronze medal success at the 2009 World Games in Taiwan, a tournament which saw his ex-King Edmund comrade Maiken Thorne also claim bronze in association with Mollie Grehan in the women’s equivalent class.
It was Maiken’s younger sister Shanie-Redd who, with the considerable help of 14-year-old Danielle, stole the show at the latest World Games in Colombia in the senior women’s pairs’ category, prompting Fordyce to acknowledge: “That was the best I’ve seen them perform and they produced it at just the right moment.
“It’s amazing to see how they’ve developed as a pairing and how the King Edmund club continues to grow as a whole.
“You need to put in so many hours of relentless training to reach that standard and it’s a fantastic achievement for the club.
“On a personal note I’ve known Shanie’s family for almost a decade and she’s like a sister to me. I feel proud for her and everyone at King Eddies and the new gym centre (at Yate Leisure Centre) is going to be an excellent facility.”
Fordyce recently underwent surgery on a serious wrist condition which had hindered his later years as a top-level gymnast and caused him pain during his Britain’s Got Talent conquests. After sustaining a fracture to the capitate bone which left it without a blood supply, the surgery involved cutting a chunk of bone from his leg and grafting it into the injured wrist in order for it to heal.
However after seven month’s recovery, he is bouncing back from the upheaval and is beginning to make a name for himself performing aerial straps acts in and around his London home.
* Picture right shows Doug in action with his Great Britain and Spelbound team-mate Edward Upcott, while the pair celebrate their World Championships success together in 2010 (top).