However if you do want to read a a more fluent biography, scroll down to ‘A long story, shortened,’ keeping in mind, Olivia keeps juicy secrets and life lessons for her talks and one day a tell all autobiography.
- Olivia started gymnastics at the ‘old’ age of 8.
- At 10, she was accepted into the elite program at the WA institute of sport.
- She was told by elite coaches she would be too tall for this sport, but continued on with the dream to become an Olympian
- At 11 years old, Olivia’s talent on the uneven bars made way for her to win numerous medals on a national level
- In 2004 Olivia hyper-extended and broke her left knee, which led to surgery that set her back five months
- Despite the pressure of being the only senior gymnast at the W.A.I.S, Olivia made her first world championships team and debuted her international career in Melbourne Australia, placing 13th on the uneven bars
- Olivia made the Australian squad and competed in the 2016 World Championships, helping the team place 6th in finals.
- Due to laziness and complacency, Olivia missed out on the 2017 team, one year before her target Olympic goal in the Beijing Games.
- After a change in focus and bad habits, Olivia returned fully committed and secured one of six spots on the 2008 Olympic Women’s Gymnastics team.
- With a broken foot, Olivia competed on the uneven bars, assisting the team to place 6th in team finals, which remains to date the highest place Australia’s ever got at the Olympic Games.
- Olivia then signed a full ride scholarship to Oregon State University
- She earned Academic All-American three years in a row and made All-American status (top 8 in the national) with her gymnastics routine at NCAA’s
- 2012 Olivia returned to Perth and claimed her 7th national title on the uneven bars
- 2013 Olivia lost her father to the fight of cancer, and broke her back later that year in two places trying a new move that had never been done before by anyone in the world.
- After an interesting recovery process, Olivia returned to gymnastics to make the 2014 Commonwealth Games team, grabbing silver in the team event and placing 5th in the all-around finals
- After re-learning the skill that broke her back, Olivia was selected onto the 2014 World Championships team where she helped the team place 7th in finals and lost her love for this sport in Australia
- In a much needed break, Olivia opened up a cafe called ‘The Leaky Tap’ which is plumbing themed in honour of her father Craig Vivian
- Three years later Olivia was invited to compete on the first season of Australian Ninja Warrior which changed her life without warning
- She was one of three women that made it to the warped wall, and failing to get up it sparked a fire and ignited new goals
- Since her Ninja debut Olivia has gone on to compete internationally, recently taking out the 2018 women’s title at the National Ninja League finals in America.
- Olivia is also the first Australian invited to be a member of the Wolfpack Ninja group, consisting of some of the best Ninjas from all over USA
- She strives to encourage women of ALL ages to try challenge themselves, and try something new, along with always aspiring to be the bets version of herself.
- Stay tuned as the second season of Australian Ninja Warrior is around the corner, along with many more bullet points to be added on!
Olivia started gymnastics at the good old age of 8, after her mum DRAGGED her to a class, and was hooked after one hour. After a few lessons, it was clear there was talent there and Liv started racking up medals in local competitions.
After two years, and a developed talent on the uneven bars, Olivia was accepted into the elite program at the WA institute of sport. Despite being told by elite coaches that she would be tall for the sport, her passion outweighed the doubts and she stuck to it like superglue. With the goal of competing at the Olympic games, the training hours increased to 36 hours a week spread over ten sessions. This of course had to be scheduled in with high school, work, physiotherapy, strength and conditioning and the attempts of fitting in normal family and friends time.Hard work pays off, and after a few years, Olivia was claiming national titles on all events and earning a reputation as a consistent and reliable competitor.
In 2004, Vivian suffered a terrible break in her knee as she landed a bar dismount on a straight knee, forcing it to bend the wrong way. After surgery left her in a full leg cast for weeks, she experienced her first full recovery process back to full strength.
In 2005 Olivia was the only senior gymnast in the program, and despite pressure from coaches and program managers to perform and deliver, she made her international debut at the 2005 World Championships in Melbourne Australia. Only three Australian competed in the women’s team, and with a beautifully stuck landing, Vivian placed 13th in the world on the bars, narrowly missing a place in finals by .025 of a point.
Olivia was inspired and motivated to improve and went on to compete in numerous national and international competitions, bringing home bags of medals to add to her heavy collection. She was then named on the Australian squad for the 2016 World Championships, where the team placed 6th in team finals. They say an athlete is always nursing an injury, and in this case Liv was managing stress fractures and shin splints in both legs, while competing at her highest difficulty. It’s a true testament to an athletes will to compete for her country, and what management will allow in order to get the results needed to keep their job title.
Despite another national title on the uneven bars, laziness and complacency in training lead to Vivian’s non selection on the 2017 World Championships team, one year before her target dream of the Beijing Olympics.
Watching the team make countless mistakes and barely qualify an Australian team through to the Olympic Games, she was given the choice to go 100% in, or leave the program.
After a tough decision to change her habits, and apply herself to every session, Olivia’s efforts were rewarded with one of 6 spots on the Australian Olympic Women’s Gymnastics Team. A moment and feeling unlike any other. After 11 years of training, 9 of them focused toward this one goal, the satisfaction of being named on that team, and calling your parents is more rewarding than the Olympics themselves.
Despite injury hindering the performance of on the of the team members days before competition, the squad performed brilliantly, qualifying for team finals and placing 6th which remains to date the highest place at an Olympic Games.
After Beijing, Olivia signed a full ride scholarship to Oregon State University where she completed her degree and competed on their gymnastics team against colleges all over the nation. Despite suffering from injury and illness in her freshman year, she helped the team qualify for Nationals all four years of competition. Olivia earned Academic All-American three years in a row and was also awarded All-American status for placing 6th in the country on the uneven bars at nationals. Fun fact, in all her years on the beam line up, not once did she fall off in competition, which is impressive considering she’d compete every weekend for 13 weeks straight during season each year.
During her senior year, Olivia heard news that her father Craig Vivian was sick with cancer, and swapped all remaining classes to online courses so she could fly back to Perth to be with family.
Still infused with passion for gymnastics and the belief she wasn’t done, she begged the state and national programs to compete in the National championships that year. Returning home at the age of 23, she was consistently told ‘No, you’re too old.’
With her relentless constant nagging, begging and pleading, Olivia was finally given the yes she needed and went on to win her seventh title on the uneven bars. With that effort she was ask to rejoin the national squad and perused her training with new motivators and goals in place.
2013 was very easily the down point in Vivian’s career as she lost her father Craig Vivian in February, and broke her back in two placed later that year attempting a new move no one had ever done before. With gymnastics playing as an escape to the passing of her Dad, she was stranded in limbo to deal with all the events that had taken place.
Not knowing her next move, Olivia spend the days and weeks of recovering on the couch constructing a business plan for a cafe she planned to open, and getting addicted to all sorts of TV series.
As two months passed by, growing nerve pains shot down her right leg to the point where she scheduled an appointment with Perth’s top back nerve surgeon. Even after being told by the Doctor, ‘you’ll never return to gymnastics,’ through careful recovery and proper movement and mental training, Olivia was back in gymnastics action five months later, and earned one of five spots on the 2014 Commonwealth Games team where she helped the team to a silver medal and placed 5th in the All-Around. To date, Olivia describes this as the most fun she’s ever had at a competition, and remains thankful she decided to return to the sport after injuring her back. She then went on to re-learn the move that broke her back, and travelled to China to compete at her 3rd World Championships, where the team finished 7th in finals.
With that experience, Olivia’s passion for gymnastics, and exercise in general was lost, discovering that elite gymnastics in Australia, isn’t the same positive training and competition environment as to what she experienced in her years at Oregon State.
With the much needed time off, Olivia opened up ‘The Leaky Tap’ cafe, which is plumbing themed in honour of her dad. The cafe took off with it’s feature dog treat, the ‘Puppuccino’ which, is a dog friendly drink served in a toilet cup.
It wasn’t until a phone call years later that changed Olivia’ life with no warning. She was called up and offered the opportunity to compete on the 2017 debut TV series, Australian Ninja Warrior. Having no idea what it was about, Olivia agreed to the opportunity and made it all the way to the warped wall where she failed to get up in the three attempts given.
With that near miss, a fire was sparked and with a new passion for fitness, goals were formed. With season two, one year away, Olivia started training at Perth’s Ninja Academy and gained experience through weekly competition runs with local ninjas. Olivia has taken her passion internationally, recently taking out the 2018 National Ninja League women’s title, becoming the first ever female to hit a buzzer in stage one.
She’s also the first Australian to become a member of the Wolfpack Ninjas group, that aspire to grow the sport outside of the television show, and inspire children to live a healthier lifestyle.
With season two of Australian Ninja Warrior around the corner, and more international events, Olivia’s Ninja career is just beginning and she’s on a mission to encourage people of ALL ages to step out and try something new. She’s constantly striving to be the best version of herself, and continuously increasing the length of her Biography!!