Max Whitlock

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Max Whitlock
Max Whitlock.jpg
Whitlock in 2012
Personal information
Country represented Great Britain
Born (1993-01-13) 13 January 1993 (age 26)
Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England
HometownHemel Hempstead
SpouseLeah Hickton (m. 2017)[1]
Height167 cm (5 ft 6 in)[2]
Weight62 kg (137 lb)
DisciplineMen's artistic gymnastics
ClubSouth Essex
Head coach(es)Scott Hann

Max Antony Whitlock[3] MBE (born 13 January 1993) is a British artistic gymnast. He is a five-time Olympic medallist (all around, team, floor exercise and twice on pommel horse), winning two golds and three bronzes, and a six-time world medallist on the same apparatus with two gold and four silvers. He became Britain's first ever gold medallist in artistic gymnastics when he won both the men's floor and pommel horse exercises at the 2016 Summer Olympics.[4][5] With eleven medals and four titles in Olympic and world championships, Whitlock is the most successful gymnast in his nation's history.

Whitlock came to prominence when he won the bronze medal at pommel horse at the 2012 Summer Olympics and the silver on the apparatus at the 2013 World Championships. He has been European champion on both floor and pommel horse, and won the floor and all-around individual title at the 2014 Commonwealth Games. In 2014, Whitlock won the silver medal in the all-around competition at the 2014 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships, matching Daniel Keatings for the best performance in a World all-around competition by a British gymnast. At the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow, Scotland, Whitlock became the first British man ever to win a World Championship gold medal, with a score of 16.133 on the pommel horse.

On 12 July 2016, Whitlock was selected for Great Britain's 2016 Olympic gymnastic team. During the Games, he first won a bronze medal in the all-round gymnastics event, which is Great Britain's first medal in this Olympic event for 108 years. Days later he won the gold medals in the Men's Floor and Men's Pommel Horse events, becoming his country's most successful Olympic gymnast, and its first Olympic champion in gymnastics.

Early life[edit]

Whitlock was born in Hemel Hempstead on 13 January 1993.[6] He was introduced to gymnastics by a friend from a swimming club when he was seven,[7][8] and joined the Sapphire School of Gymnastics in Hemel Hempstead.[9] When he was twelve, his coach Klemen Bedenik returned to Slovenia, and Whitlock followed him to Maribor to continue training. He returned three months later and joined South Essex Gymnastics Club in Basildon where he is currently coached by Scott Hann.[10] He attended Longdean School in Hemel Hempstead.[11]

He won gold on pommel horse and floor and was placed second all-around at the 2010 Junior European Championships held in Birmingham.[12]

Senior career[edit]

In October 2010 he was part of the team which won the silver medal for England in the gymnastics in the men's artistic all-around team event at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.[13] He also won the silver medal in the men's pommel horse and a bronze medal in the men's horizontal bar at the same games.[14][15]

He was an alternative for the British men's team at the 2011 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Tokyo, Japan.

In 2012, he helped the British men's team qualify to the 2012 Summer Olympics in second place at the London Prepares Olympic test event giving clean routines on all six events, and scoring the highest on pommel horse beating his teammate Louis Smith.[16] He went on to win a bronze medal in the Pommel Horse final behind Louis Smith[17] beating world silver medallist Cyril Tommasone.

In May, he was part of the team that won Gold in the European Championships in Montpellier. This was the first time the British men's team had won a Team Gold, beating both Russia and Romania.[18] He also qualified for the Pommel Horse final, where he finished in 6th place.[19]

2012 Summer Olympics[edit]

Whitlock was a member of Britain's gymnastics team at the 2012 Summer Olympics in London, where he helped the team claim a bronze medal at the team final on 30 July 2012 at the North Greenwich Arena. This was the first time the men's team had won a medal since 1912. He also claimed the bronze medal in the pommel event final, once again beating the 2011 world silver medallist, Cyril Tommasone, with a score of 15.600, with Hungary's Krisztián Berki taking gold with the same score as Whitlock's GB team mate Louis Smith, but winning the gold on account of a higher execution rating.[20]


Whitlock competed at the 2013 European Championships on 19 April 2013. Whitlock won a medal of each colour: a silver medal in the individual all-around competition, with a total score of 89.106 points behind Russian gold medalist David Belyavskiy,[21] a gold medal in the floor exercise with 15.333, and a bronze medal in the pommel horse with 15.500.[22]


Between 19–25 May 2014, at the 2014 European Championships in Sofia. Whitlock, with his four Great Britain teammates, took Team silver medal behind Russia with a total score of 262.087 points. In event finals, Whitlock won the gold medal in pommel horse (16.166) ahead of 2012 Olympic champion Krisztián Berki.[23][24]

Commonwealth Games[edit]

At the 2014 Commonwealth Games, Whitlock, with his four England teammates, took Team gold with a score of 266.804 points.[25] In the artistic individual all-around, Whitlock won the gold medal with a score of 90.631 points.[26] Whitlock won his third gold in the Men's Floor final with a score of 15.533. He took silver in the Pommel Horse final with a score of 15.966 and bronze in the parallel bars final.

Nanning 2014[edit]

Whitlock was chosen to compete for Great Britain at 2014 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Nanning, China. He had a difficult time in qualifications, with a fall on Floor Exercise and costly errors on Pommel Horse. He did not qualify for any of the individual finals, including the All Around due to the two per country rule as he qualified behind teammates Daniel Purvis and Nile Wilson. After the team competition, Wilson pulled out of the All Around competition due to a wrist injury, allowing Whitlock to replace him in the final.[27] He won the silver medal with a score of 90.473, just under a point and a half behind Kohei Uchimura who scored 91.965 to win his fifth World All-Around Championship.[28]


Whitlock competed at the English Championships in March as the defending AA champion. He won gold on pommel horse with a score of 16.4, but struggled significantly on the other events and did not compete on vault, his last event. Due to illness, he only competed on pommel horse at the British Championships, where he won the silver medal behind Louis Smith. After the competition Whitlock was found to have been suffering from glandular fever.[29] Despite this, Whitlock was chosen to compete at the European Championships in Montpellier on the floor and pommel horse.[30] However he did not qualify for any event finals.

After the Championships, his coach announced Whitlock would take a break from training to recover, during which he also cancelled any public appearances and stopped using social media.[31] In May, Whitlock announced on his Twitter he had returned to training.[32]

Glasgow 2015[edit]

Whitlock competed as part of the British men's team for the 2015 World Artistic Gymnastics Championships in Glasgow, Scotland. After some minor mistakes in the qualification rounds, he tied for a place in the final with teammate Nile Wilson, but with the tiebreaker rules applied, Max won the place to the individual all-around final. The men's team, which included team captain Kristian Thomas, Daniel Purvis, Louis Smith, Brinn Bevan, Nile Wilson and alternate James Hall, became the first British men's team to win a medal in the all-around team competition at a World Championships, winning a silver behind Japan. Whitlock and Purvis competed well in the Individual All-Round final. A fall on the High Bar kept Whitlock out of the medals, but he finished strongly on the Floor to gain a place in the top 8. He also posted the highest score on the pommel horse out of all the competitors - 16.100. On 31 October Whitlock competed in the Floor and pommel horse finals. He won the silver medal on floor behind world champion Kenzo Shirai, and later in the afternoon became the first British man ever to win a World Championship gold medal, with a score of 16.133 on the pommel horse. His teammate Louis Smith won the silver medal with a score of 16.033.[33]


Whitlock competed at the Glasgow World Cup on 12 March 2016. He won the all around with 89.299.[34] Whitlock gained the highest scores of the competition on floor and pommel horse, and came second on vault and high bar.[35]

On 12 July 2016, Whitlock was selected for Great Britain's 2016 Olympic gymnastic team, along with Louis Smith, Nile Wilson, Kristian Thomas and Brinn Bevan.[36] He won a bronze medal in the all-round gymnastics event, Great Britain's first in this Olympic event for 108 years. He later went on to win the gold in the individual floor exercise, becoming the first British gymnast to win an individual gold. Within two hours he won a second gold in the individual pommel horse.[37][38]


At the 2017 Artistic Gymnastics World Championships in Montreal, Whitlock became the first British gymnast to successfully defend a world title when he took victory in the pommel horse.[39]


At the 2018 Commonwealth Games, Whitlock was part of the team that won gold in the team event.[40] However, he failed to defend his individual titles in the Games; he sat out the individual all-around competition, finished 6th on the floor, winning only a silver on the pommel horse, the first time he had not won gold on this apparatus since 2015.[41][42]

At the 2018 European Championships in Glasgow, Whitlock won a silver as part of the team.[43] However, an error in his routine on the pommel horse lost him an individual medal in the event.[44]

At the 2018 World Championships in Doha, Qatar, Whitlock failed to win a third consecutive pommel gold at the World Championship, despite gaining the same score of 15.166 as the winner Xiao Ruoteng. He finished in second place due to a lower execution mark.[45]


Whitlock was made a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE) in the 2017 New Year Honours for services to gymnastics.[46]


  1. ^ MBE, Max Whitlock (23 July 2017). "Mr & Mrs Whitlock". Twitter. Retrieved 9 August 2017.
  2. ^ "WHITLOCK, Max (GBR)". International Gymnastics Federation (FIG).
  3. ^ GRO reference: February 1993, Register Number A33, District and subdistrict 5301A, Entry 260
  4. ^ "Rio Olympics 2016: Max Whitlock wins second gold". 14 August 2016. Retrieved 14 August 2016.
  5. ^ "Simone Biles wins again as Max Whitlock earns Great Britain's first ever gymnastics golds". Retrieved 15 August 2016.
  6. ^ "Max Whitlock". British Gymnastics.
  7. ^ "Max Whitlock". BBC. 2015. Retrieved 2017-08-09.
  8. ^ "Catch Up With Max Whitlock". 2015 World Gymnastic Championships Glasgow. 27 October 2015. Retrieved 2017-08-09.
  9. ^ "The story of Max Whitlock's incredible rise to becoming a double Olympic champion". ITV. 15 August 2016. Retrieved 2017-08-09.
  10. ^ Briggs, Simon (28 July 2016). "Rio Olympics 2016: Max Whitlock reveals the lengths he'll go in pursuit of excellence". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 2017-08-09.
  11. ^ Hull, Adam (2 February 2016). "'Fully focused' Max is raring to go as journey continues on the Road to Rio". Hemeltoday. Retrieved 2017-08-09.
  12. ^ "Great Britains Juniors with 5x Gold most successful". British Gymnastics. 25 April 2010. Retrieved 2017-08-09.
  13. ^ "Essex pair Whitlock and Lawrence hail 'amazing' silver". BBC News. 5 October 2010.
  14. ^ "Commonwealth Games 2010: Imogen Cairns wins vault gold". 7 October 2010. Retrieved 2017-08-09.
  15. ^ "Commonwealth Games 2010: Folwell & Cairns win golds". BBC News. 8 October 2010. Retrieved 2017-08-09.
  16. ^ "Max can start dreaming of Olympics spot". Retrieved 2017-08-09.
  17. ^ "Louis Smith and Dan Purvis win gold at Olympic test event". BBC Sport. 12 January 2012. Retrieved 2017-08-09.
  18. ^ "London 2012 Olympics: Great Britain men win first ever team gold at the European Gymnastics Championships". The Daily Telegraph. 28 May 2012.
  19. ^ "FIG Profile Max Whitlock". Archived from the original on 8 June 2012.
  20. ^ "Olympic gymnastics: bronze for GB as Japan win silver on appeal". BBC News. 30 July 2012. Retrieved 30 July 2012.
  21. ^ "Men's All Around Final Results" (PDF). European Union of Gymnastics. 19 April 2013. Retrieved 19 April 2013.
  22. ^ "Full Result Book" (PDF). Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  23. ^ "Ablyazin, Wilson Dominate European Finals". international gymnast. Retrieved 25 May 2014.
  24. ^ Hope, Nick (24 May 2014). "European Gymnastics: British men battle back to secure silver". BBC Sport. Retrieved 4 June 2014.
  25. ^ Brown, Oliver (29 July 2014). "Commonwealth Games 2014: England's men and women gymnasts take double gold". The Daily Telegraph. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  26. ^ Howson, Nick (30 July 2014). "Glasgow 2014: Max Whitlock Wins Second Commonwealth Gold in Men's Gymnastics All-Around". International Business Times. Retrieved 30 July 2014.
  27. ^ Nick Hope (8 October 2014). "World Gymnastics: Max Whitlock to replace Nile Wilson in all-around". BBC. Retrieved 2017-08-09.
  28. ^ "World Championship silver for Max Whitlock". British Gymnastics. 9 October 2014. Retrieved 2017-08-09.
  29. ^ "Max Whitlock on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2017-08-09.
  30. ^ "Max ready to defend Euro pommel crown". 10 April 2015. Retrieved 2017-08-09.
  31. ^ "Max Whitlock to take two week break to recover from illness after missing out on European Championship finals". Retrieved 2017-08-09.
  32. ^ "Max Whitlock on Twitter". Twitter. Retrieved 2017-08-09.
  33. ^ "Max Whitlock wins gold at World Gymnastics Championships". BBC Sport. 31 October 2015. Retrieved 31 October 2015.
  34. ^ "Max Whitlock wins Glasgow World Cup gold medal for Britain". BBC Sport. 12 March 2016. Retrieved 13 March 2015.
  35. ^ "Mens & Womens Artistic - Glasgow FIG Artistic World Cup 2016". 12 March 2016. Archived from the original on 31 March 2016. Retrieved 13 March 2016.
  36. ^ McDaid, David (12 July 2016). "Rio 2016: Max Whitlock and Louis Smith in GB gymnastics team". BBC Sport. Retrieved 13 July 2016.
  37. ^ "Rio Olympics 2016: Max Whitlock wins second historic medal". BBC. 14 August 2016. Retrieved 2017-08-09.
  38. ^ "Rio Olympics: Usain Bolt wins; GB golds for Whitlock, Murray, Rose & Kenny". BBC. 15 August 2016. Retrieved 2017-08-09.
  39. ^ McDaid, David (7 October 2017). "Max Whitlock: Briton defends pommel horse title at World Championships in Montreal". Retrieved 8 October 2017.
  40. ^ "Commonwealth Games: England win gold in men's team final". BBC Sport. 5 April 2018.
  41. ^ Kelner, Martha (8 April 2018). "Max Whitlock falters as Georgia-Mae Fenton takes gymnastics gold". The Guardian.
  42. ^ Broadbent, Rick (8 April 2018). "Commonwealth Games: Underperforming Max Whitlock misses out on gold". The Sunday Times.
  43. ^ "High bar falls cost British gymnasts as Russia takes European team gold". ESPN. 11 August 2018.
  44. ^ "European Championships 2018: Dominick Cunningham wins gold as Max Whitlock misses out". BBC Sport. 12 August 2018.
  45. ^ "Max Whitlock: British gymnast just misses out on world gold". BBC Sport. 2 November 2018.
  46. ^ "The full list of Essex winners in the New Year's Honour List 2017". 30 December 2016. Retrieved 9 August 2017.

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