Sunbury-On-Thames star Finlay Gray is still revelling in the highs of last season’s global gymnastics success.
The 20-year-old acrobatic gymnast competed in a men’s squad alongside Archie Collier, Bradley Gold and Andrew Morris-Hunt, with the quartet achieving unprecedented results.
Gray and his teammates won World Championship gold in Baku, before an identical achievement at the World Games in Alabama followed later in the summer.
And those successes were extra sweet after the quartet had struggled throughout the earlier stages of the season.
All four have now been shortlisted for a prestigious British Gymnastics Award in the Elite Athlete of the Year category.
And Gray said: “Coming from a not so great build-up to the World Championships – we’d had a couple of falls in a couple of competitions before – it was a bit rocky, but we really came together and pulled it out of the bag.
“The World Championships was fantastic but the World Games was a completely different ballpark. Obviously the World Championships were well-planned, but because there were so many events at the World Games it was so different for us.
“We’re used to acrobatics always doing things by ourselves, we’re a very solo sport so it was interesting going to see all the different sports and different types of gymnastics.
“We went out with the tumblers and DMT squad and it was just a really great experience.”
The British Gymnastics Awards are community led and about championing those who make the sport an uplifting experience for all, with more nominations than ever before coming in this year.
It is the creativity, dedication and passion from people in the sport that make gymnastics an accessible, inclusive and enjoyable sport for all.
The nominations have been judged by panels made up of British Gymnastics committee members and external panellists from across UK Sport, Gymnova, Milano, Gymaid, Youth Sport Trust, Sport England, Women in Sport, The Include Summit, Sport and Recreation Alliance, The Sport for Development Coalition and GB gymnasts.
The quartet are no longer competing together, with Gray in fact retiring from professional competition after a string of injuries – though he hopes to stay in the sport as a coach.
He added: “Me and the other boys get on very well.
“We’re best friends as it is, so it’s just so fantastic to have experienced all of that with the best friends in your life – it’s very special.
“It definitely means a lot for us to get this recognition from British Gymnastics. Obviously, acrobatics as a sport isn’t as widely recognised as artistic or rhythmic, so it’s really nice to be a part of this award. It means a lot to us.”
The British Gymnastics Awards celebrate those at the heart of gymnastics who create an uplifting experience for all. British Gymnastics has launched a new vision for a new era of gymnastics, learn more about Leap Without Limits here – https://www.british-gymnastics.org/vision