Amy Tinkler, Olympic bronze medallist and the youngest member of Team GB to compete at Rio 2016, has retired from competitive gymnastics.
“When one door closes, another one opens,” said the 20-year-old. “Thank you to the gymnastics community, you’ve been my whole life and this is not goodbye.
“In the short term, I’m excited to try new opportunities, especially in an Olympic year like this one where I knew Team GB will again capture the nation’s attention by delivering a fantastic performance in Tokyo.”
Tinkler was aged just 16 when she became the first British woman to win an Olympic gymnastics medal on the floor with a brilliant bronze in Brazil.
Injury prevented the talented teenager from adding to her medal haul, missing the 2018 World and European Championships and Commonwealth Games after tearing ankle ligaments within a year of Rio.
She also had to miss out on last year’s European Championships, undergoing a series of operations in a bid to get herself back to full fitness.
Tinkler remained confident of a return in 2019 but a reappearance on the mat was not forthcoming, though she insists her time in the sport is not completely at an end.
While Tinkler’s competitive career came to an end prematurely, her achievements in Rio and beyond saw her become one of the most successful gymnasts in British history.
A promising junior athlete, her talent was first noticed on the big stage when helping Great Britain win silver at the 2013 European Youth Olympic Festival in Utrecht.
The Durham native broke onto the senior circuit in 2015 – becoming the all-around champion thanks to her performance at the English National Championships.
Within a month she was also British champion, earning selection to the European Championships alongside fellow future Olympians Becky and Ellie Downie and Claudia Fragapane.
Victory didn’t come her way in her maiden major international competition as a senior gymnast but it wasn’t long until she was on the podium, part of the British team to win a team medal in that year’s World Championships.
Competing in front of a home Glasgow crowd, Tinkler produced strong performances on both the vault and floor to help the squad to bronze – less than half a point clear of Russia in fourth.
Within a year she was not only part of Team GB’s squad for Rio but making history too, with the 16-year-old the youngest member of the 366-strong squad.
But, determined as ever, she wasn’t content with just making up the numbers, a superb floor score of 14.933 seeing her win a brilliant bronze for her country – a performance that proved to be her last in competitive gymnastics.
Team GB Chef de Mission Mark England said; “At just 20-years old Amy has achieved so much in her gymnastics career. Amy made her own history and Team GB’s when she fought off two former European Champions to secure her spectacular floor bronze medal to become our youngest medallist since 1984. We wish her all the best for her retirement from gymnastics.”