At 6 years old, a young boy from Ashton in Makerfield began the first steps in his career. 12 years later the same boy, now a young man, won bronze in the Loulé World Cup in Portugal.
Johnathan Rimmer began his career at the age of 6 at Seagulls’ gym in Wigan and from an early age he knew Gymnastics was the sport for him. He said: “I started gymnastics due to me not being interested in football when I was younger.
“I started gym as something different, all the other lads were playing football and I just didn’t fancy it, it took years to get to where I am today but from the beginning I knew this was the sport for me.”
At 19 years old Johnathan has numerous accolades to his name, from British schools tumbling champion in 2015, to numerous international titles. His most prestigious title was finishing second at the British Championships this year.
“We travelled to Birmingham to compete against the best tumblers in the country, I knew the competition was going to be hard, but I felt strangely confident,” he said.
“We perform three routines, or passes as they’re called, and the judges give us a combined score out of 40.
“I finished second finishing on 32 points, beaten by only by Elliot Browne who is two years older than me and a lot more experienced,” he said.
But the Wigan born tumbler doesn’t want to stop there, he also has so much more to achieve.
“My overall aim is to go to the World Championships and to qualify for finals. I’ll give it two or three years and I’ll be competing at that level.
“It doesn’t have to stop there either, obviously every athlete dream of representing their country at the Olympic games, I can see it now stood under the union jack with the national anthem playing.” Rimmer joked.
You can see from the tumblers demeaner that he wants to be successful, from his respectful attitude to other athletes and to his hard-working attitude, Rimmer is on the right course to achieve what he wants.
“I train 5/6 days a week. I work training around uni so sometimes I’ll train in the morning before I go to my lectures or I’ll train after them instead.
“Say I’ve got a lecture at 11, I’ll try to train first thing in the morning then lecture then I’ll train later at night, I know it’s the important to get my studies in, but training is everything.
“I can’t miss a training session, they’re too important if I want to do well, I’ll have to admit when it gets to close to a competition my training becomes more important than uni; just don’t tell my mum,” he said.
It hasn’t always been plain sailing for the 19-year-old athlete, last year Rimmer broke his ankle in multiple places.
“I broke my ankle last summer, I needed surgery to realign my bone and I thought my career was over.
“It was so hard to come back from it, from the minute it happened I knew it was serious I was in so much pain.
“It took weeks of physio and rehab to get back to where I needed to be, a lot of hard work and setbacks went into me getting to full fitness but by November I was back in training,” he said.
Since 2016 Johnathan has been representing team GB at a junior level, competing all over the world in numerous competitions.
Whilst competing at this level Johnathan has seen his skill level rise dramatically, competing against the best in the country.
“Representing our own country feels so incredible, I feel proud to represent our nation in the sport I love, it’s the best feeling.
“I get to tumble against the very best boys and girls in the country, the skill level is so high” he said.
“I get to wear the Team GB tracksuit every time I compete and it’s such an honour to be able to do that, it’s a pretty cool tracksuit as well.
“It’s everyone’s dream to represent their country at any level, but to compete at the highest level for my country in the sport I love is a real honour,” he said.
His physical ability is not the only thing that makes him a prime athlete, the tumbler is also aware of the importance that, not just gymnastics, but all sports plays on mental health plays on young people.
1 in 6 adults experience a common mental health problem, such as anxiety or depression and 1 in 5 adults has considered taking their own life at some point.
“I believe that training for a sport you are passionate about really helps mentally and emotionally as it can just be there to help you out in stressful times.
“There’s times when I’ve been feeling down and gone to train, before it you don’t feel up to it but when then it starts, and you start feeling better.
“Afterwards you feel so much better, the endorphins your brain releases make you feel so much better, both physically and mentally you feel better,” he said.
With 2018 being a huge success Rimmer, despite the setbacks he’s faced, 2019 is beginning to look like the year we see him stood up there underneath the British flag with a gold medal.