Despite winning double gold medals in Rio de Janeiro, British team gymnast Max Whitlock is still being questioned before the 2020 Tokyo Olympics


MAX WHITLOCK says that his entire career has been inspired by trying to prove people wrong.

Sometimes, as a junior international gymnast, he was told that he was not good enough.

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Max Whitlock says his doubters will only drive him to greater successCredit: Getty

A judge at 2012 London Olympics Laugh at the suggestion that any Englishman can win an Olympic medal.

Even now, despite having won three medals Rio Olympics Five years ago-including pommel horses and gold medals on the floor-some people still question Whitlock It’s the real deal.

enter Tokyo Games -He started in the team qualifying on Saturday-The 28-year-old opened his heart to his anger towards doubters.

The Essex Tumbler said: “It pushed a lot.

“I have had enough. As a young man, I was told that I would never score on the world stage, and I would never be good enough.

“When I was selected to participate in the 2009 Australian Youth Olympic Festival, I was asked why I joined this team.

“People still don’t believe me. Some people will never believe me for some reason.

“For me, this is a lot of motivation for me. Proving that people are wrong is a huge motivation.

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The Essex Tumbler is often told that he was not good enough when he was young

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The Essex Tumbler is often told that he was not good enough when he was youngCredit: PA
But the 28-year-old is determined to prove the opponents wrong again in Tokyo

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But the 28-year-old is determined to prove the opponents wrong again in TokyoCredit: Getty Images-Getty

“I have always made sure that I have been using it to my advantage. Those people have helped me a lot.

“I remember after London in 2012, my coach Scott and I knew our plans and where we wanted to go.

“He told the selectors that their person in charge gymnastics, Our goal is to win three medals in a major tournament-we were ridiculed, which is hilarious now.

“In the years from London to Rio, this was our mission and we wanted to prove that we are an almighty.

“I want to give myself the potential to win the championship. I remember all those moments, they stay in my mind.

“Before the 2012 London Olympics, a referee told me that two British players could not get to the podium. We did it.

“Many times people don’t believe me or what we can do or what Scott said. This is a big part of it.”

Excluding all disputes and Covid concerns, Whitlock will become Group GB Gymnastics team-including three Olympic rookies Joe Frazier, James Hall and Jani Regini Moran.

In order to further push the boundaries and prove the mistakes of more critics, Whitlock, who won the all-around bronze medal at the 2016 Rio Olympics, will focus on defending his pommel horse championship and attacking horizontal and parallel bars in team events.

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This will be the longest time he has left his wife Leah and excited two-year-old daughter Willow.

He said: “It must be more difficult to leave them this time. There are still nearly five weeks left.

“Fingers crossed, Willow is still interested in seeing me on FaceTime. We are eight hours ahead, so I have a window to chat with her in the morning.

“She tried on all my medals at home, which is really cool. I would love to add one more to my collection.

“Willow is definitely a huge driving force for me to continue to move forward, prompting me to continue participating in the 2024 Paris Olympics.

“And you never know, other than that. I want her to travel the world. Maybe in Los Angeles after that. If she can follow me around the world, that would be great.”

Whitlock practiced pommel horses at home during confinement, and felt “frustrated” when he heard that these games would be held in sterile stadiums without fans.

He said: “If this is a necessary condition for safety, then this is the most important thing. As a team, we must work harder to create this atmosphere-as much as possible in a four-person team.

“This is the work to be done. We will not get that atmosphere like the normal Olympics. We must promote each other as much as possible.”

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