Max Whitlock announces he will retire after the 2024 Paris Olympics

Max Whitlock has announced he will retire from gymnastics after the upcoming Olympic Games

Sonia Twigg
Wednesday 10 April 2024 09:53 BST
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Max Whitlock has announced the Paris 2024 Olympics will be his last (Mike Egerton/PA)
Max Whitlock has announced the Paris 2024 Olympics will be his last (Mike Egerton/PA) (PA Archive)

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Louise Thomas

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Britain’s most successful gymnast Max Whitlock announced he will retire after the 2024 Paris Games.

Whitlock is one of the nation’s most successful Olympians. He has won three gold medals, including two on pommel horse. No gymnast in the history of the games has won four medals on the same piece of apparatus, but the 31-year-old could become the first to do so should he add to his collection in the French capital this summer.

"This decision now feels right," Whitlock told BBC Breakfast.

"Going for my final Olympic Games, it feels very, very strange talking about it and it’s almost hard to articulate what it’s like.

"It’s a really nice mindset to be in, to think I’ll just give it all I’ve got."

Whitlock burst onto the scene in London 2012 when he claimed bronze on his preferred piece of equipment, the pommel horse, as Great Britain also won bronze in the team event.

At Rio 2016, he made the headlines again when he became Britain’s first medallist in the all-round event for 108 years with bronze.

At those games he also won the gold medal in artistic gymnastics, winning in his specialist pommel, and on the floor.

Whitlock retained his gold medal at Tokyo in 2021, before taking a year-and-a-half break from the sport.

"Ever since Rio where I was at my peak age, I think I’ve had questions thrown at me about when am I retiring," Whitlock said.

"I’ve wanted to prove people wrong a lot of the way through my journey and I’ve always had the mindset of trying to do this for as long as I possibly can."

Whitlock has a daughter, Willow aged five, and after fans were banned from the postponed Tokyo 2020 games because of the coronavirus pandemic, she will be allowed to be in the crowd this time around.

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