James Hall overcame his “directionless” days of incarceration to make a “surreal” Olympic debut.
The gymnastics star from Maidstone thinks keeping things basic and remaining calm can be the key to victory in this summer’s Tokyo Olympics.
J. Hall Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
This week, 25-year-old Hall joined Joe Fraser, Giarnni Regini-Moran, and two-time Olympic champion Max Whitlock as part of Team GB’s four-man men’s gymnastics squad.
Hall, the 2018 Commonwealth Games team winner, believes that reserving his seat on the plane is the best way to show his gratitude to the people who stood with him through the ordeal of the Covid-19 pandemic.
With Eurosport and discovery+ airing Hall’s Olympic debut live, he said: “Over the past 18 months, life has been challenging.
“I can cheerfully admit that I’ve been in some pretty dark places in my thoughts with everything that’s gone on.
“There is no contesting the fact that everyone has experienced hardship. However, because to my strong social support system, I was able to recover.
“You go from being a gymnast your whole life and then at the drop of a hat, someone informs you that you can’t do it for whatever long. You can’t do it, period; there was no deadline given.
“Despite my enthusiasm for the sport and a general lack of focus, I found myself in a quite atypical position. When the Games were postponed, I still had them in my brain, but in reality, I felt demoralised and devastated.
“The most useful thing I did was to surround myself with supportive individuals and discuss the issue openly.
“I can’t believe how excited I am. It’s something I’ve dreamed of – not just since I was six years old, but every day since.
“It’s hard to believe, but the equipment is on the way, and soon we’ll be ready to start. There will be a lot of pressure on me over the next two months, but I couldn’t be more excited.”
Hall’s Family Originally Came From Australia, But they Settled in Kent Around 1997.
After working hard to get into the gymnastics world, he finally achieved success at the 2017 European Championships in Romania, where he won bronze and vaulted himself into a medal position for the Commonwealth Games.
Silver medals in the all-around and horizontal bar competitions further solidified Hall’s standing as a Tokyo 2020 contender, and he won a thrilling team gold with Whitlock, Courtney Tulloch, Nile Wilson, and Dominick Cunningham on the Gold Coast.
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