onwards and upwards
Above image: photography by Fabien Kruszelnicki
Today, former Team GB Olympic gymnast Nile Wilson announced his painful decision to retire from gymnastics, a sport he has done so much to popularise. Speaking via an emotional post on his Instagram, Nile wrote that his decision to hang up his hand guards arose out of necessity, with a string of severe injuries that have taken their toll on the 24 year-old’s body.
“Gymnastics’ you are the best sport in the world! You’re my 1st Love , my addiction , You set me free , you gave me purpose & you gave me experiences I could not even have dreamed of,” he wrote on Instagram. “Everyone that has watched , supported or found inspiration from my gymnastics, Thank you so much! I was a young boy with a dream. With a hell of a lot of work & belief I am living proof that you can achieve anything you want in this life.”
Wilson exploded onto the international scene aged 18 after helping England to a team gold at the 2014 Commonwealth Games, before picking up an individual bronze, silver and gold medal at what was his first ever senior tournament (the latter for his exceptional display on the horizontal bar). It was at the 2016 Brazil Olympics that Wilson etched his name into British gymanstics history, demonstrating his superb execution on the horizontal bar once again to become the first British gymnast to win a bronze medal for the event.
Since that summer, where he formed part of a gymnastic team consisting of fellow stars Louis Smith, Max Whitlock, Kristian Thomas and Brinn Bevan, Wilson has continued to push the sport towards new audiences. With his huge following on YouTube and social media, Wilson has helped popularise the sport among a new generation, ensuring the legacy of his achievements will continue to unravel for years to come. After starring in HERO 18, it goes without saying that we wish Nile the very best of luck in the exciting next chapter of his life.
Read our interview with Nile Wilson from HERO 18 here.