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Watch: Adorable moment Max Whitlock is reunited with daughter at Heathrow
After securing his place as one of Britain’s most successful Olympians, Max Whitlock has shared the emotional moment he was reunited with his family in the UK.
The 28-year-old gymnast from Hertfordshire won gold in the men’s pommel horse competition on Sunday – the sixth Olympic medal of his career – as his young daughter and wider family watched from home.
Whitlock, a gold medallist at the Rio games in 2016, married his childhood sweetheart Leah and they are parents to two-year-old Willow.
Wearing his gold medal, Whitlock hugged Leah and Willow after touching down at Heathrow Airport with other members of Team GB on Tuesday.
A video posted by Whitlock on Twitter showed Willow run to her father and jump up and down with excitement.
The family-of-three reunited with hugs and smiles, and were pictured walking hand-in-hand.
Whitlock was also pictured crouched down next to Willow showing her the gold medal and giving her the mascot that was part of his medal bouquet.
Shortly before his win in Japan, Leah shared a photo on Twitter of their daughter sitting alongside her cousins ready to watch her father compete on TV.
Leah later tweeted after her husband’s win: “We are so unbelievably proud of you…
“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!!”
She also posted video clips of her husband’s family celebrating his win.
Whitlock, who threw down an early gauntlet to his competitors by going first on the pommel, said he felt “absolutely lost for words” and “completely overwhelmed” after his win.
Other members of Team GB have also flown home following successes – and disappointments – in Tokyo.
BMX Freestyle star Charlotte Worthington, 25, who won gold after performing the first ever 360 backflip, arrived to a hero’s welcome, holding up her gold medal alongside bronze medallist and fellow cyclist Declan Brooks.
The pair posed with their loved ones as they proudly held their medals aloft, while the gold medal-winning equestrian team – including world number one Oliver Townend – were pictured embracing family members.
Last week, British rower Helen Glover had an emotional reunion with her children back in the UK after failing to land a medal in the coxless pairs.
A video posted on Glover’s Instagram shows her hugging her three children, which she captioned: "This feeling."
Watch: The extraordinary gymnast who defied a president to achieve Olympic glory