EXCLUSIVE Part Two: Brinn Bevan inspired by fellow Team GB gymnast Max Whitlock
In part two of our exclusive interview with Brinn Bevan ahead of the iPro World Cup of Gymnastics, the 19-year-old talks role models, pre-competition rituals and has a word of warning for fans.
Bevan delivered a strong set of performances on his Olympic debut in Rio and was part of the British men’s team that came agonisingly close to making the podium, ultimately finishing fourth.
But overall Team GB enjoyed a record-breaking medal haul in gymnastics and trampolining in summer, picking up seven medals – many of which were historic firsts.
One of the standout performances undoubtedly came from Max Whitlock, who claimed both the men’s floor and pommel horse titles.
And Bevan, who trains alongside Whitlock at South Essex Gymnastics Club, says the 24-year-old and Double Olympic champion is one of his biggest idols.
Speaking exclusively to Sports Gazette, he said: “I get to see what he does, how he trains and how hard he works.
“It’s really inspiring to be able to watch that and follow in his footsteps almost.”
The Team GB squad is unbelievably tight knit as shown by their camaraderie at Rio 2016.
But, when asked, Bevan admitted that the role of team joker tends to switch between them.
He said: “I think we all keep that role at times.
“At the 2016 Olympic Games, it was definitely Louis [Smith].
“He lightened the mood and kept us pretty relaxed as though we were in a training environment.
“It was really nice because heading out into the competition arena with 16,000 people chanting your name or your country, it really kept you grounded.”
The unforgiving nature of the sport in exposing and magnifying the slightest wobble or lack of focus on any of the apparatus means there is a lot of nervous energy beforehand.
Bevan said: “I think everyone gets nervous heading into big competitions.
“Me personally, I concentrate on my breathing and it’s just about having a bit of a laugh and a joke.
“Before heading out into that arena [at Rio], I remember kind of singing and dancing to Michael Jackson and that really lightened the mood for me and made me think of other things rather than what I was about to do.”
In terms of pre-competition rituals, Bevan listens to certain songs or genres beforehand to get psyched up.
While no two gymnasts are the same, he has stated that all competitors tend to follow similar patterns in their preparation.
He said: “Everyone likes to keep the same routine.
“Heading into it if you can produce the same things in training, then hopefully you can do the same thing in competition.”
A big crowd with high expectations is set to fill The O2 with around 17,000 tickets already reportedly snapped up.
But the charismatic and self-deprecating gymnast has a word of warning for the fans.
He said: “I don’t look as tall as I do on TV!
“I’m only like 5’6’’ so don’t be expecting big things when you meet me.
“My gymnastics is going to be big but not my height!”
London staged the first ever World Cup of Gymnastics in 1975 and will play host again on Saturday 8th April, when the competition comes to The O2.
The iPro World Cup of Gymnastics will be broadcast exclusively on Sky Sports Mix, which is available to all Sky customers.
Check out part one of our exclusive interview with Brinn Bevan here!