Dad-to-be Whitlock plans to introduce baby to gymnastics
DOHA: Expectant father and five-time Olympic medallist Max Whitlock is passionate about introducing his baby to the sport as soon as possible.
The pommel horse world champion had announced in September that his wife Leah is expecting their first child in February.
Whitlock is one of the major stars on parade at the 48th FIG Artistic Gymnastics World Championships, which starts here on October 25.
“Gymnastics is one of the best sports to start in whether you are going on to make it your job or not, so I can’t wait to take our baby down to the gym," Whitlock told Press Association Sport recently. “I hope they’ll be able to come to as many competitions as they can. We didn’t want to wait too long to have kids because I’ve always thought it would be nice for them to be old enough to come along and see me when I’m still competing.”
With the new baby on the way, Whitlock definitely has an extra motivation to push his way back to the top at the Doha Worlds as he is surely not in a hurry to leave the stage anytime soon.
The 25-year-old Briton will be hoping to reverse a series of disappointing results which has seen his presumed dominance of the discipline challenged in recent months.
Whitlock, who became the first British man ever to win a World Championship gold medal, on the horse in Glasgow, Scotland, defended the title in Montreal, Canada, last year.
The exciting development in Whitlock’s home life, however, has provided a timely distraction from the pressures of the gym, and it is something he hopes will help motivate his return to the top of his sport for some years to come.
“My priority has completely shifted to making sure Leah’s OK and doing all the things she needs to be doing. As an athlete it’s important not to be too stressed about your sport and this really does help re-set the balance,” he said.