I finally got home from work just after 21:00 last night. I had left the house that morning at 07:00.
I was tired as it had been a busy and frustrating day.
I did not expect the snippet of news I came home to.
There had been an announcement by a young man who’s career I have been following for a few years.
I have to be honest, at the back of my mind I think I knew this announcement was coming.
It still didn’t make it any easier.
Nile Wilson, British Men’s Artistic Gymnast, has announced his retirement at the age of just 24.
In the video he released he stated that injuries over the last couple of years had been the reason.
The last time he competed professionally was back in 2018 at the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in Australia.
This was an extremely exciting competition and I remember sitting up into the early hours with one of my daughters’, holding my breath through every piece of apparatus, watching him help the GB team to All-round Gold.
Nile went on to win Individual All-round Gold, Horizontal Barr Gold, Rings Silver and Parallel Bars Silver.
I had high hopes for him for the Tokyo Olympics in 2020 but unfortunately life had other plans.
I follow Nile on Youtube, as do another 1.44 million subscribers!!
He is funny, he is enthusiastic, he is infectious to watch, he has an amazing relationship with his Dad Neil.
Nile and Neil are a comedy duo and have their own Youtube channel where Neil is lovingly referred to as ‘The Youtube Sensation!’
Together they have started building Nile’s future, opening up his first Gym and getting his Brand on merchandise that sells like hot cakes!
However, ever since his amazing haul of medals at the Commonwealth Games, he has been plagued by injuries and has had several operations.
He initially remained very positive and worked his arse off to get back to top fitness levels, however, a neck injury just over a year ago was the beginning of the end.
A bulging disk that was compressing on a nerve causing weakness down one arm required some pretty major surgery.
Nile remained positive and was still aiming for the 2020 Olympics but the injury had other ideas,
He just couldn’t seem to beat the weakness in his shoulder and I could tell by the content of his Vlogs that he was becoming a little disheartened. When the 2020 Olympics were cancelled due to the Covid Pandemic, and Nile began to really push his own Brand, I think that deep down I already knew that it wouldn’t be too long before he made this announcement.
My heart breaks for him at the age of just 24!!
However, Nile is far from gone. His enthusiasm for the sport remains. He is inspirational for thousands of kids who are interested in the sport and I can see Olympic class Gymnasts emerging from his gym/s in the future.
I will continue to follow his exploits on Youtube and continue to laugh at his antics with his Dad.
Most of all, I will continue to watch his career with interest, albeit in a slightly different direction!!