WHITLOCK Max < Back  
Sport Gymnastics - Artistic
CGA England   
Gender Men
Born 13 Jan 1993 in Hemel Hempstead, ENG
Height1.67 m
Human Interest
Further Personal Information
Family Wife Leah, daughter Willow [2019]
Residence Basildon, ENG
Occupation Athlete
Languages English
Sport Specific Information
When and where did you begin this sport? He took up the sport at age seven.
Why this sport? He got into gymnastics through a friend. "I wasn't born into gymnastics. There are no grainy home videos of me, aged two, balancing on a bench or jumping off the sofa doing a routine. In fact, it wasn't until I was seven-years-old, and a friend at my local swimming club suggested I try it, that I ever really focused on gymnastics at all."
Club / Team South Essex Gymnastics Club: Basildon, ENG
Name of coach Scott Hann [club, personal], GBR
Training Regime He trains between 20 and 25 hours a week.
General Interest
Memorable sporting achievement Successfully defending his Olympic title on pommel horse at the 2020 Games in Tokyo, which was his third Olympic gold medal. ?(teamgb.com, 01 Aug 2021)
Hero / Idol Japanese artistic gymnast Kohei Uchimura, Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt. (telegraph.co.uk, 17 Mar 2016; bbc.co.uk, 17 Oct 2014)
Injuries A virus caused him to withdraw from the Great Britain squad for the 2016 European Championships in Bern, Switzerland. (bbc.com, 20 May 2016)

He did not compete in the all-around event at the 2015 European Championships in Montpellier, France, because of the effects of low-grade glandular fever. He did participate in the floor exercise and pommel horse events. (SportsDeskOnline, 18 Apr 2015; bbc.co.uk, 15 Apr 2015)
Sporting philosophy / motto "What you love doing, you do more of - and what you do more of, you get better at." (myprotein.com, 01 May 2019)
Awards and honours He was named British Gymnastics Most Outstanding Athlete of the Year for 2019. (echo-news.co.uk, 2020)

He was named Member of the Most Excellent Order of the British Empire [MBE] in the 2017 New Year's Honours list. (intlgymnast.com, 30 Dec 2016)

He received the Prize for Elegance at the 2015 World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland. (fig-gymnastics.com, 31 Oct 2015)
Milestones In 2016 he became the first person representing Great Britain to win a gold medal in artistic gymnastics at the Olympic Games when he was victorious in both the floor exercise and pommel horse events in Rio de Janeiro. The previous year he had become the first British male to win an artistic gymnastics world title when he triumphed in pommel horse at the 2015 World Championships in Glasgow, Scotland. (dailymail.co.uk, 15 Aug 2016; SportsDeskOnline, 14 Aug 2016)
Famous relatives His wife Leah has worked as an artistic gymnastics coach at South Essex Gymnastics Club in England. His coach Scott Hann is also his brother-in-law. (theguardian.com, 11 Apr 2018; southessexgym.co.uk, 18 Jul 2017)
Ambitions To compete at the 2024 Olympic Games in Paris, and to have an element named after him in the Code of Points. (standard.co.uk, 23 Mar 2020; teamgb.com, 01 Aug 2021)
Other information FATHERHOOD
He and his wife Leah became parents to their daughter Willow in February 2019. "Willow is definitely my proudest achievement. I wanted to have children young, when I was still doing gymnastics, because I want them to see what I do rather than for them to just hear the stories. Standing out in an arena in the middle of a competition with thousands of people watching - the thought of taking her onto that stage and giving her that experience is amazing. It will 100% spur me on knowing she and Leah are in the crowd. Going into Tokyo [the 2020 Olympic Games] and being a dad, it's actually chilled me out more. That doesn't take away from the sport, but I think it enhances it." (eurosport.com, 24 Jul 2019; hellomagazine.com, 10 Mar 2019)

At age 12 his Slovenian coach decided to return to Slovenia. Whitlock had the choice of going with him, or remaining in England and quitting the sport. "I found that I had a choice to make. Follow my coach and move away from my family, or quit gymnastics. I didn't want to stop gymnastics, so in order to continue I moved out to Slovenia to live and train there. That was the decision I made when I was just 12 years old. I think because I was so young, getting one flight there but not knowing when I'd return, was very, very difficult. And not just for me, but for my family as well. But it was the right decision." (myprotein.com, 01 May 2019)

He and his wife Leah launched Max Whitlock Gymnastics in 2018. The club has several locations in England, and gives children the opportunity to participate in gymnastics through a programme designed by him and his wife. "I want to help kids get a foot in the door in the best sport in the world. Gymnastics has brought me a lot of confidence, it's a sport that can do that for kids. It teaches them about their bodies, and about respect and discipline. And if I can give something back to the community too, that's an amazing feeling." (express.co.uk, 02 Jan 2020; hellomagazine.com, 10 Mar 2019; bbc.co.uk, 31 Mar 2018)

In 2019 he released a health and fitness book called 'The Whitlock Workout: Get Fit and Healthy in Minutes'. In February 2021 he was announced as an ambassador for the 2022 World Championships in Liverpool, England. (express.co.uk, 02 Jan 2020; thebookseller.com, 08 Aug 2019; thegymter.net, 09 Feb 2021)