Olympic gymnast Ellie Black honoured with Order of Nova Scotia at just 23

At just 23 years old, Olympic gymnast Ellie Black has been named to the Order of Nova Scotia.

Lt.-Gov. Arthur J. LeBlanc announced six recipients on Friday, revealing a list that includes an expert on the Halifax Explosion, a frozen blueberry mogul and a Cape Breton nurse who overcame racial discrimination.

Black represented Canada twice at the Summer Olympic Games, placing fifth in the women’s individual all-around for the country’s best Olympic result in the event.

The Halifax native has also won medals at the Pan-American Games and led her team to gold at this year’s Commonwealth Games.

Other inductees include John Bragg of Oxford Frozen Foods and Eastlink; Clotilda Douglas-Yakimchuk who became the first, and only, black president of the Registered Nurses’ Association of Nova Scotia; and author and scholar Janet Kitz, who has spent years educating people about the Halifax Explosion.

Patti Melanson of Halifax is also being invested for her work providing health care to vulnerable people, while Halifax high school principal Wade Smith will receive the honour posthumously for his advocacy work on education and the preservation of African Nova Scotian culture.

A news release from the lieutenant-governor’s office Friday said Black is an ambassador for both gymnastics and the province.

“Ellie is an outstanding role model for her peers and young gymnasts, demonstrating a great work ethic and a graciousness in both victory and loss. Ms. Black takes time with her young fans, acknowledging their support and sharing her experiences,” the release said.

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