Jake Jarman with his fourth Gold medal of the 2022 Commonwealth Games. (Photo by PAUL ELLIS/AFP via Getty Images)
Jake Jarman has certainly come a long way since he was talent spotted in a Peterborough park swinging from the monkey bars.
Jarman was just seven years old when his gymnastic prowess caught the attention of a passing coach, the sort of scouting performance a Premier League football club would crave.
The 20-year old added the Commonwealth Games vault gold medal to his podium topping performances in the team event, all-around competition and floor final.
He becomes the first English man to win four golds at the same Games since shooter Mick Gault 24 years ago in Kuala Lumpur.
“When I was younger I was a very hyperactive kid,” recalls Jarman.
“When I was seven I was in the park in Peterborough and my Mum told me that a gymnastics coach was there at the same time.
“I was just swinging from the monkey bars and he told my Mum, ‘you should bring your kid to one of the local clubs.’”
Jarman, a reserve for last year’s Tokyo Olympics, was the least experienced member of the England men’s team here in Birmingham.
But his performances have established him as one to watch with two years to go until the Paris Olympics, though first comes this month’s European Championships in Munich, followed by the World Championships in Liverpool in late October.
Jarman could be forgiven for thinking international gymnastics was straightforward - four finals in the space of five days and four golds.
However, he insists despite his now trademark high-flying, his feet will remain on the ground, despite inevitable hype ahead of Paris in two years.
“My goals are the same,” he added. “As long as I’m focusing on my training and just enjoying every moment of it, then I can’t put any extra pressure on myself.
“I’m happy with how things are going and if I end up making it on that team, I’ll be glad to say that I achieved what I set out to do.
“In all the competitions you go to, you can be under just as much pressure at a smaller competition than a competition this big. To be able to come here and enjoy everything and produce an amazing result, I’m absolutely honoured.”
Jarman’s career was guided by his nan Sheila, who would take him to Huntingdon Gymnastics Club while his parents worked. And she’ll be among the first he sees when he returns home later this week.
“I spoke to her on the phone the other day, she was over the moon with how I have done,” he added.
“I have never heard her so excited on the phone, I was struggling to make out some of her words. She said just to do what I normally do and have fun, my Nan has always been a huge part of my gymnastics. She has always been a huge supporter, so I can’t thank her enough.
“I don’t know yet when I’m going to do with the medals. I’m going to find somewhere in my house to store them, maybe a nice glass cabinet if there is space.”
At this rate, there may not be.
National Lottery players raise more than £30million a week for good causes including vital funding into sport – from grassroots to elite. Find out how your numbers make amazing happen at:www.lotterygoodcauses.org.ukand get involved by using the hashtag: #TNLAthletes.