Max Whitlock: who is gymnast, how old is he, has he retired, will he compete at Commonwealth Games 2022?

The Team GB gymnast is set to be a high-profile absence from the games.

The Commonwealth Games 2022 get underway in Birmingham this week, with a whole host of British stars bidding for medal glory.

One recognisable face who will not feature, however, is gymnast Max Whitlock.

The highly-decorated talentconfirmed his absence in a tweet on Thursday, but made it clear that he will be at the games to enjoy all of the action as a spectator.

Here’s everything you need to know about the Team GB icon...

Who is Max Whitlock?

Whitlock is a British artisitic gymnast, and is currently Team GB’s most successful gymnast of all-time.

Over the course of his career, Hertfordshire-born star has amassed six Olympic medals, and a further five at World Championships.

Whitlock rose to prominence during the 2012 Olympics in London, winning bronzes in both the pommel horse and team events.

He followed up that success four years later in Rio, secured gold in the pommel horse and floor exercise, as well as a bronze in the all-around.

A third Olympic gold - and a sixth Olympic medal overall - was picked up at Tokyo 2020, with yet more success in the pommel horse.

Elsewhere, Whitlock has won three golds and five silvers at World Championships, with all three of his golds coming in the pommel horse.

His total of five victories in the pommel horse across Olympic and World Championship competition makes him the most successful athlete of all-time in the discipline.

At European level, Whitlock has four golds, three silvers, and a bronze, and at the Commonwealth Games, he boasts a further four golds, four silvers, and two bronzes.

How old is Max Whitlock?

Whitlock was born on January 13th 1993, making him 29 years old.

The gymnast began his senior career in 2010, and enjoyed medal success in the Commonwealth Games that year.

Has Max Whitlock retired?

As things stand, Whitlock seemingly has no plans to retire any time soon, but will miss the Commonwealth Games through injury.

As reported by the Daily Mail, the gymnast is set to skip the competition as he continues his preparations for a comeback from injury.

The Team GB star is still expected to feature at the World Championships in Liverpool later this year.

Speaking last year about the games in Birmingham, he said: “The Commonwealth Games has been a key event in my career so far and to have a home games for Team England on the horizon is fantastic.”

Whitlock has also made clear his intention to compete at the Paris Olympics in 2024, citing his young daughter as a key motivating factor in his quest for yet more podium success.

He said: “Willow’s been a huge positive impact in terms of my sport, in terms of actually putting a lot of things into perspective and making me chilled in some of the most pressured environments that we go out in.

“[She is a] huge motivation for me to kind of go on to Paris. I would love for Willow to come out and see what I do.

“That’s a huge motivation for me to continue.”

When will the gymnastic events be held at the Commonwealth Games?

The schedule for gymnastics competition in Birmingham begins on July 29th and runs until August 6th.

The men’s pommel horse, usually Whitlock’s specialist event, will be held at 1pm BST on August 1st.