Max Whitlock: BBC Sports Personality 2016 contender

Max Whitlock
BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2016
Date: Sunday, 18 December. Venue: Genting Arena, Birmingham. Time: 18:40-21:00 GMT. Coverage: BBC One, Radio 5 live, BBC Sport website

We are showcasing each of the 16 contenders in the run-up to the Sports Personality of the Year award on 18 December. Today - Max Whitlock and Danny Willett.

Max Whitlock - Age: 23 Sport: Gymnastics

Year in a nutshell

Secured two Olympic golds in one memorable day as the gymnast from Hemel Hempstead made history.

He gained Britain's first Olympic gymnastics gold with victory in the men's floor, then 90 minutes later pipped team-mate Louis Smith to triumph on the pommel horse.

Earlier in the Games, Whitlock won Great Britain's first all-around gymnastics Olympics medal in 108 years, taking bronze.

How he got here

Max Whitlock
Whitlock has won five Olympic medals - claiming two golds in one day this year

His earliest memory is walking around the house on his hands, and he took up gymnastics at the age of seven.

Whitlock persevered despite being told by a doctor at 14 that he should quit because of back injuries.

He progressed to make the British junior team and won three medals at the 2010 Commonwealth Games.

Two years later he won bronze on the pommel horse at the London Olympics and another as part of the men's team.

In 2015 he became the first British man to win a world gymnastics title despite being drained by glandular fever earlier in the year.

And his Rio double was the first time that a British competitor won two golds in one day since eventer Richard Meade at Munich 1972.

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GB's Whitlock makes history with floor gold

What he said: "I've completely outdone myself."

What you say

Matt Alcock: "Whitlock should be on that podium without a doubt!! Never won a gold in gymnastics and he wins two in a matter of hours."

James Richards: "Max Whitlock. His achievement is by far a miracle and deserves to win this year. We have never won a gold at gymnastics and he gets two in one night when bronze was meant to be best for us."

TheWattmeister: "Max Whitlock. Hard work. Phenomenal success. Inspiration. Already got my #SPOTY vote. Brilliant young man."

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BBC Sports Personality of the Year 2016: Max Whitlock on Rio memories

Sports Personality record: Seventh, 2014, Eighth 2015. A gymnast has never won the BBC award, though Beth Tweddle was fifth in 2009.

Get Inspired

Gymnastics helps to improve your flexibility, balance and co-ordination as well as boosting concentration

Visit the Get Inspired website to find out more on how to get into gymnastics.