Bolt and Bieber the dream for Tinkler's dinner table


Gymnastics Artistic

Bolt and Bieber the dream for Tinkler's dinner table

16 August 2016 / 17:15

Seat Usain Bolt at the table in Amy Tinkler’s family kitchen and you’ve got yourself one happy gymnast.

The seven-time Olympic champion is Tinkler’s hero, but add Justin Bieber and American gymnast Simone Biles to the mix and the 16-year-old’s ideal dinner party is complete.

Find out more about Amy's Homegrown Heroes profile here

But what would Tinkler, taking her Olympic bow in Rio, serve her guests?

“My ideal dinner guests would be Justin Bieber, because I just love him, Usain Bolt, because he’s just so cool, and Simone Biles, because she is amazing at what she does,” said the two-time senior British Champion on the floor.

“But I can’t cook! I would have to make them tuna pasta bake, but it would still be really cool.”

And as a full-time gymnast, balancing her GCSE exams at the same time, who can blame Tinkler for her lack of culinary skills in the kitchen?

Thankfully though, she has an incredibly supportive network around her, including her parents who ensure she is getting the right nutrition to allow her body to deal with the strenuous training regime she faces to make it to the top.

With speed, strength and endurance just some of the fitness elements required in gymnastics, getting the right food into her body at the right time is crucial, and while you’re probably imagining a plate full of chicken, Tinkler insists a healthy diet doesn’t have to be a boring one.

“Our weight has a huge impact on our sport. It can make a huge difference so we have a nutritionist working with us,” she said.

“Our main meal is breakfast, we have a big breakfast, and then our lunch and dinner is a lot smaller.

“On a night, we don’t eat carbohydrates, we just eat lots of protein and veg to allow us to recover from our training sessions.

“At lunch, we will allow ourselves to have some carbs, but again, it’s mainly protein and vegetables, but breakfast is full of carbs to fuel us for the day ahead.

“My parents have had to change their eating habits to fit around mine, and our nutritionist gives us lots of different menus to try out, so it doesn’t always have to be the same food.

“There is a lot of choice. A lot of people think veg and chicken is quite boring, but there is an awful lot you can do with it and there is a lot of variety, while it’s obviously healthy at the same time.”

Tinkler is currently living her dream at the Olympic Games in Rio, a dream she not only shares with her family, but with her school as well.

And they, she admits, have played an incredible part in her rise to the greatest stage of all, helping her every step of the way.

“Next year I’ll be doing my biology and history GCSEs at the same time I’ll be doing my first year of A-Levels,” she said.

“My school have been amazing over the past few years. I’ve split my GCSEs over three years so I didn’t have to do them all in the OIympic year, and they do special meals for me.

“They cook me a lot of sweet potato and things like that, so they’ve really helped me along the way.”

Sportsbeat 2016