JAY THOMPSON says watching his famous pal Max Whitlock at BBC Sports Personality of the Year has reignited his desire to battle back from a serious injury.
Thompson got a coveted invitation to Sunday’s show where fellow South Essex Gymnastics Club star Whitlock was one of 10 nominees for the famous gong.
Footage of Glasgow 2014 hero Whitlock’s training base in Basildon was shown before was interviewed live by co-host Gabby Logan on a night when F1 megastar Lewis Hamilton took home the top prize.
Youth British, European and Commonwealth champion Thompson, 18, from Bowers Gifford, is undergoing rehab from reconstructive surgery after dislocating his elbow and tearing muscles and ligaments after a freak accident in training.
He hopes to return to action in some capacity at the British Championships in March and says club-mate Whitlock has provided all the motivation he could ever need.
Rio 2016 hopeful Thompson said: “It was so great to see Max being recognized for his fantastic achievements this year.
“He is a big inspiration to us all and he competes against the best – which is where he belongs.
“Watching all his success this year has given me a massive hunger to get back competing myself after a pretty bad injury.
“I should be competing again at the start of next year, but only on a few pieces, and I really can’t wait to get involved again.”
As with many aspiring athletes in the UK, Thompson is working hard to find new sponsors. If you can help then please get in touch.
* Report supplied by www.sportinessex.com