LEEDS’S You Tube sensation Nile Wilson banked gold No 1 at the Commonwealth Games – and vowed it’s just the start of things to come.
Wilson’s video exploits have seen the Olympic bronze medallist go viral, nearly 700,000 have watched one post entitled ‘How Gymnasts get dressed’.
And after helping England defend their men’s gymnastics team title, Wilson is dreaming of his name up in lights at these Games too.
Four years ago he won high bar gold, parallel bars silver and all-around bronze – this time all that glitters must be gold.
The 22-year old, from Pudsey, was England’s most consistent performer as they dominated the team competition, finishing well ahead of Canada and Scotland in the other medal spots.
He topped all-around qualifying and will also go in four individual apparatus finals – the floor, rings, horizontal bars and high bar, qualifying No 1 in the latter two apparatus.
“That’s some of the best gymnastics I’ve ever done out there and I don’t think I’ve ever had that much fun in competition either,” he said.
“To come out on top in the all-around qualifying is just peachy and, hopefully, it’s just the start of what could be a really memorable Games for me. I like this gold medal, it would be nice to grab a few more!
“The team event was the focus and we did our job. Everyone was hanging that medal around our necks but we knew we had to focus, no-one was going to give it to us.
“I’ve got to go out there and do it all again now. My team-mate James Hall looks in mean form but he won’t be the only rival, lots of people are going to want this.”
While double Olympic champion Max Whitlock might be the face of the team, Wilson is its heart and soul.
He watches and encourages every team-mate, and is always first with a fist bump, a hug or an arm around the shoulder.
His You Tube channel, which gives a glimpse into his life as a professional athlete, makes him one of the most popular gymnasts around.
He even had a small reception party of local fans when he touched down in Brisbane airport last week.
The team event was the focus and we did our job. Everyone was hanging that medal around our necks but we knew we had to focus, no-one was going to give it to us.Nile Wilson
“It was nice to have some Wilsonettes in the crowd - and great to get a gold medal to say thanks for the support,” he added.
“I love doing the You Tube videos and to be able to show off what an amazing sport this is.
“I’m a vlogger as well as a gymnast now and I love creating cool videos, I think it helps keep me focused on the sport too.
“The last 12 months has really taken off and the following has started to build. I see the two careers as running parallel, it’s just amazing to be able to document my journey in the sport, the good and the bad
“I like giving people a peak behind the scenes and hopefully I’ve got a video to come with a few medals in it.”
**npower is the Official Partner of Team England and is giving our athletes the power of support by recording a brand new version of their anthem, Jerusalem. To listen to the track visit npower.com/teamengland