A wedding and the Worlds, Whitlock wants to make 2017 as big as 2016

Double Olympic gymnastics champion Max Whitlock is back in the gym and working hard to make 2017 yet another year to remember.

A wedding to childhood sweetheart Leah Hickton is set for this July and then there’s the small matter of defending his world pommel horse title in Montreal - and upgrading his floor silver from two years ago too.

Whitlock took three months off after Rio, enjoying the parades, parties and trips to the Palace that came with his historic performances in Brazil.

After bronze in the all-around competition - Team GB’s first medal in the event since Walter Tysal claimed the silver at London 1908 - Whitlock became the first Brit to win a double gold on the same day since 1972.

However, he admits getting back into a daily routine has not been easy.

“Previously it’s never been hard to get back training after a big competition,” he said.

“I was in a weird place after Rio because I outdid my expectations by a mile. You think back and it still doesn’t seem real, so getting back to work again has been harder than ever before.

“I’m back training again and building up slowly, doing a few hours a day, a few days a week in the gym.

“It’s exciting. I learned a new move the other day and that really gave me my buzz back. I know I’m still learning and still improving and I’m on the path again now and I need to stay with it.”

If 2017 is going to be hectic then 2018 will be just as busy, with Whitlock planning to compete at both the Commonwealth Games on the Gold Coast in April and European Championships in Glasgow a few months later.

But all that will pale into insignificance alongside the biggest looming date in his diary.

“Walking down the aisle is going to be much more nerve wracking that the Olympics,” he added.

“When I proposed to Leah I could barely talk, it was the most nervous I’ve ever been. I can’t imagine what a state I’m going to be in but I can’t wait too.”

Sportsbeat 2017