Sam Oldham

Last Updated: 12/11/14 1:04pm

Sam Oldham: Won team bronze at the London Olympic Games in 2012

Sam is the reigning European High Bar silver medallist

Sam was a talented footballer in his youth and was on the books at Notts County

This year Sam won a gold, two silver and a bronze medal at the English Championships

This year Sam won a gold, two silver and a bronze medal at the English Championships

As a child, I was very hyperactive and found myself getting into 'trouble' at infant school for being a little noisy and generally, pretty active; from jumping around the playground to looking for things in the class room to jump off!

Fact File

  • DOB: 17/02/1993
    Event: Gymnastics, all-around
    Hometown: Nottingham
    International Debut: 2005
  • 2010: 3x European Junior Championships gold
    2010: Youth Olympics Pommel Horse silver
    2010: Youth Olympics High Bar gold
    2011: European Championships High Bar - 4th
    2012: British Championships silver
    2012: Olympic Team bronze
    2012: World Cup bronze
    2013: British Championships bronze
    2013: British Championships gold
    2013: European High Bar silver
    2014: British Championships Vault bronze
    2014: British Championships High Bar gold
    2014: Commonwealth Games team gold

My teacher at the time suggested to my parents that they take me to our local leisure centre and get me introduced to a real gymnastics teacher in a bid to harness all of my pent up energy. Right from the beginning, I loved it.

As I progressed as a gymnast, I was entered into a schools area gymnastics competition through the gym coach who'd welcomed me as an infant. I went on to win the competition and off the back of this, I was offered a trial at The East Midlands Centre of Excellence in Nottingham. Following the trial I was asked to join Nottingham Gymnastics Club who were based at the Centre which was attached to Rushcliffe Comprehensive School.

I was selected to compete for Great Britain for the first time aged 12, in Austria. It was a competition which I won and around the same time Notts County Football Club offered me, and I duly signed, a four-year contract to take me up to scholarship age.

London won the 2012 Olympic bid and I felt I needed to make a serious choice between the two sports and despite interest from both Nottingham Forest and Derby County, I decided to choose gymnastics over football.

I was selected for the GB Junior European Team aged 15 in 2008, but halfway through my final floor routine, I broke my wrist. Somehow I managed to continue and finish the routine to help us take gold; the first time Great Britain had ever won gold at any championships.

"It's somewhere that I can give back again to the younger generation, the people coming through, and being seen as a role model - I take that quite seriously. I'm really looking forward to being part of the scheme and working with Sky"

Sam Oldham

Following success in Switzerland I was selected to go to the Beijing Olympics as part of the UK Sport "Ambition 2012 Programme", where I attended the Games as part of Team GB to experience what it was like at an Olympics. On my return from Beijing an increase in funding meant the GB Junior squad was based at Loughborough University, meaning I could move home and train full-time with Sergey, my childhood coach, again.

The Junior European Championships followed in 2010 where I took three golds, Individual All Around, Team gold and High Bar gold. As I was the European Junior Champion this meant I was selected for the inaugural Youth Olympics in Singapore later that year. The Youth Olympics was a great experience and I came home as Youth Olympic High Bar Champion and I also took silver on Pommel.

After this I moved to senior level and made my European Senior debut in Berlin in 2011, aged 18, where I made the high bar final and finished just outside the medals in 4th.

I was selected and competed at the World Championships 2011 in Tokyo. I carried a collar bone injury into the competition but whilst competing the injury got worse and developed into a stress fracture and as a result I was out of full training for four months, putting my 2012 Olympic selection in doubt.

My last chance to try and force my way into the Olympic team was at the 2012 British Championships, I had the competition of my life and sealed my place in the team for London and needless to say, I was ridiculously happy; all of my hard work, my highs and lows, had paid off but, this was when I needed to take it up another gear.

I have since followed up my Olympic bronze medal by becoming the first British male gymnast to win a medal on high bar at a major championships by winning silver at the 2013 European Championships in Russia, a country synonymous with top-level gymnasts.

I'm really excited about being a Sky Scholar, it's an amazing scheme. The other athletes that are involved, it's an honour and a privilege to be picked alongside them to be part of this.