Artistic Gymnastics

Max Whitlock in full-on Olympics mode: "Still learning what's best for my body"

The British Olympic champion admits things have changed for him big time as preps for a third Olympics appearance at Tokyo 2020.

By ZK Goh ·

Double Olympic champion Max Whitlock is pressing full steam ahead with his preparations for Tokyo 2020.

Writing in a column for the Metro newspaper, the Briton admitted that things have changed for him since his Olympic debut on home soil eight years ago at London 2012.

"Recovery for me is tougher than it used to be. My body just doesn’t absorb everything like it used to," he said.

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Age catching up

Whitlock won pommel horse and floor gold at Rio 2016 aged 23.

But, he says he is trying to adjust his body to the rigours of training four years on at 27.

"As I get older, I find an extra day off is not the worst thing," Whitlock wrote. "This is all so much harder than it used to be. I’m still learning what’s best for my body."

Whitlock is set to be the oldest man on the British team this year if selected.

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Olympic champion Max Whitlock trains on the pommel horse ahead of the 2019 ...

Future plans

Whitlock isn't considering an end to his sporting career just yet, however.

"I feel I have plenty of life left in me gymnastics-wise and that will be the same after Tokyo," he wrote.

"I do want to continue to Paris in 2024 and make it four Games, but I know to do that I’ll have to take a six-month rest after Tokyo.

"When I got into the sport I was always thinking about the here and now. But it is different now and I have my eye on four Olympics."

In the immediate short-term, Whitlock will compete at the English Championships and the British Championships, which will act as selection events for Great Britain's Olympic team.

He is considering skipping the European Championships in Paris at the end of April.

"It is a hectic year and I need to keep myself fresh for the big one in Japan."


Great Britain
Artistic Gymnastics
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Number of medals

5 Olympic medals


Olympic Games

2 Olympic Games