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The mother of gymnast Max Whitlock has described him as “my champion” after she watched him become one of Britain’s most successful Olympians.
Madeleine Whitlock said it was “really emotional” to watch as the 28-year-old secured gold in the men’s pommel horse competition on Sunday – the sixth Olympic medal of his career.
His family jumped for joy as they watched his victory on TV in the UK, which left them feeling “so proud”.
Ms Whitlock told the BBC: “You can’t put it into words. It was just really emotional to watch, but so proud and so happy for him.”
She described how the family “all screamed” after he made the landing on his gold medal-winning routine.
She said her son’s achievement was “amazing” after his preparations for Japan were disrupted by the Covid-19 pandemic.
“He’s my champion,” she said, adding: “You cannot put into words how I feel about him and I just want to give him a hug and just tell him that we’re just so proud of him.”
Whitlock’s wife Leah captured the family’s celebrations in video clips she shared on Twitter, adding in a tweet: “We are so unbelievably proud of you @maxwhitlock1
TOKYO 2020 OLYMPIC POMMEL CHAMPION!!!!! 🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧🇬🇧
We are so unbelievably proud of you @maxwhitlock1 🥰 You did the most amazing routine going up first and under so much pressure and you went for it. Just amazing.
We can’t wait to see you! We love you so much!! 😘 xxxxx pic.twitter.com/LDyV1vh2IA
— Leah Whitlock (@leahhickton) August 1, 2021
“You did the most amazing routine going up first and under so much pressure and you went for it. Just amazing.
“We can’t wait to see you! We love you so much!!”
Whitlock, from Hertfordshire, simply tweeted “OMG!!!!” and shared a photo of his celebrations with coach Scott Hann, adding in another tweet: “Couldn’t of done it without you!!”
He also received messages of congratulations from the younger members of his family: niece Elsie and nephew Brook.
“Well done, we’re so proud of you Max,” said Elsie, with Brook adding: “We’re so proud of you, can’t wait to see you.”
Whitlock’s two-year-old daughter Willow added: “See you soon… well done Dad.”