A 23-year-old man from Lincoln with autism and ADHD has won an incredible seven medals at the 2021 Disability British Gymnastics Championships, including two golds.
Blake Gidley, 23, from Lincoln Gymnastics Club, competed in the national championships in Stoke-on-Trent on Sunday, October 17, and took home gold medals in the rings event and the all-around, which is a cumulative competition of all disciplines of gymnastics.
He also won silver in the floor, vault, parallel bars and high bar events, as well as bronze on the pommel horse, to round off a magnificent day for the young man.
Blake has ADHD and autism, and has dreams of representing his country at the Olympic Games in the future, as his class is not currently a Paralympic event.
He has been a gymnast for 13 years, and fell in love with it from the moment he first tried gymnastics as a 10-year-old boy.
Blake’s mum Sarah told The Lincolnite: “It’s not really sunk in what he has achieved yet, I just cannot believe we have a British champion in our family.
“Everyone at Lincoln Gymnastics Club has been so supportive and we are all just so proud of him.”
Sarah takes her son to Nottingham for extra training each week with specialist coaches, in the hope of developing his skills enough to make the courageous leap to the next level of his sport.
“He is desperate to be at the Olympics as a rings specialist,” Sarah said. “He really wants to share his story and inspire people that are like him.”
Blake sent a message to The Lincolnite after his success, thanking everyone for their support.
He said: “I would firstly like to say thank you to everyone who has supported me and helped me get to this point so far.
“It was an amazing experience and I am so proud to be able to represent people with autism and ADHD and to show that if you work hard, believe in yourself and never give up, it is possible to achieve amazing things. You shouldn’t let your disabilities hold you back from achieving your dreams.”
His triumphs in Stoke-on-Trent were his first taste of national success, and now he will be hoping to replicate that glory at next year’s championships in Liverpool.