HOW TIMES change. Once regarded by many competitors as the pinnacle, the Commonwealth Games have, in recent times, become the launchpad for the next sporting superstars to announce themselves to the world.
Yet, while Leeds gymnast Nile Wilson is already one of his sport’s brightest stars, his three golds on Australia’s aptly-named Gold Coast – part of a five medal haul that included the all-round title – have illuminated a contest that has seen several shocks.
Not only this, but Yorkshire’s one-man medal machine had to overcome a serious wrist injury as he continues his single-minded quest to become the best gymnast in the world.
His resilience is to his credit. So, too, is his engaging – and creative – use of social media; there were many so-called ‘Wilsonators’ in the crowd offering vocal support as the 22-year-old inspires a generation.
As Wilson himself said after one of his trademark winning roars: “We absolutely smashed it.”