Nile Wilson says swapping the high bar for books, broadcasting and the buzz of YouTube vlogging is the best way to whip up Brits’ buoyant Olympic fever.
Former gymnast Wilson, from Pudsey, won bronze at Rio 2016 but announced his retirement ahead of Tokyo after an injury-hit career.
He balanced his sporting journey with fame as a YouTuber and after racking up almost 1.5million subscribers on the platform, is now being challenged by The National Lottery to help the nation embrace the Olympic spirit.
Wilson, 25, is producing five fun-filled videos around the Games’ up-and-coming sports as he gives taekwondo, skateboarding, BMX, climbing and diving a go in front of the cameras.
The episodes are being broadcast throughout the Olympics and Wilson hopes that giving lower-profile sports a platform can inspire the nation this summer.
“Throughout my gymnastics and vlogging career I’ve tried all sorts of weird and wonderful things.
“Through my collaboration with The National Lottery, I’ve tried some amazing new sports and met some wonderful new people.
“The videos are absolutely fantastic and we’ve had so much fun making them.
“I’ve always had a passion about creativity – I just hope these videos can make people laugh and inspire people up and down the country.
“That’s exactly why I do my content – to inspire young people. It’s about getting everyone out there and active to move to get involved.
“Hopefully people will watch these videos and think: ‘that looks awesome and I want to give that a go.’ And if we can make you laugh as well, then that’s perfect.”
Wilson’s gymnastics career was fuelled by National Lottery support that allowed him to train full-time and benefit from world class facilities, technology, coaching and support teams.
His first video trying out taekwondo was published on Tuesday this week, while his second saw him attempt one of the Olympics’ newest sports – skateboarding – currently hitting the headlines thanks to 13-year-old Team GB sensation Sky Brown, Britain’s youngest ever summer Olympian.
And his final three tackling BMX, climbing and diving are scheduled for the beginning of August as Team GB continue to inspire young and old to get active.
Away from the camera, versatile Wilson has a book in the pipeline as he prepares to lift the lid on his emotional sporting journey.
He balanced an injury-plagued career alongside his creative vlogging exploits and Wilson, who soared to a hat-trick of golds at the Commonwealth Games three years ago, added:
“The book is my story. “I felt I’ve got a fascinating story to tell in a very short career – I retired early but there were some incredible highs and incredible lows.
“I’m so, so excited for this book to be released. A lot of the things in it will blow people’s minds in terms of what athletes have to go through, and the injuries that I returned from.
“I’ll probably be bearing my soul – but it’s my truth and I hope people are excited to read my story.”
Wilson knows his journey all comes back to the impact of National Lottery funding, which has helped transform the fortunes of Team GB over the past two decades.
Adam Peaty’s thrilling Tokyo triumph marked the 100th Gold medal won in the funding era and Wilson, who knows all too well how vital the support is for both elite-level and community sport, said: “I would say a massive, massive thank you to National Lottery players.
“Just keep playing The National Lottery – grassroots sports, and everything we’ve got and have access to, wouldn’t be possible without you.
“There’s no bigger support for sport at grassroots level than The National Lottery. Without that support, I couldn’t be where I am today.”
No one does more to support our Olympic and Paralympic athletes than National Lottery players, who raise around £36 million each week for good causes including grassroots and elite sport. Discover the positive impact playing the National Lottery has at http://www.lotterygoodcauses.org.uk and get involved by using the hashtags: #TNLAthletes #MakeAmazingHappen