Tom Bosworth to retire from race walking after Commonwealth Games | Olympics News

Tom Bosworth has represented Team GB in the 2016 and 2020 Olympics; he has a silver Commonwealth medal; and holds three British records and three World records, including in the one-mile walk; the Commonwealth Games take place in Birmingham from July 28

Last Updated: 07/07/22 10:29am

This summer’s Commonwealth Games will be Tom Bosworth’s final event before he retires from racewalking.

Double Olympian and Commonwealth Games silver medalist Tom Bosworth has announced that he will retire after the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham.

In a video posted on social media, Bosworth told fans that this summer’s Commonwealth Games, which get under way on July 28, will be the final race walking event he will take part in.

“I have got some really big news to share with you all today,” said Bosworth.

“At the end of the season I am going to be retiring from Athletics.

“It has not been an easy decision to make and not one I have rushed into.

“But with a home Commonwealth Games and rest assured I am going to be going all out to win another medal in front of a home crowd this summer.

“Going in as a silver medalist doesn’t feel real in itself but I want to do my team, myself and my family proud and that is why now does feel the right time.

“I am still able to compete at my best, train full time and give it my all despite having some injuries with my back and some problems there and that is why I haven’t wanted to carry on.

“This season has been I want to enjoy and remember and celebrate everything I have achieved and hopefully I can do that this summer.

“I cannot believe what I have managed to achieve, two Olympics, the British records, it is all so surreal.

“I just started Athletics for fun and for fitness so to have had the career I have, I feel so lucky and privileged.

“I couldn’t have done it without my team in Leeds who have supported me for over 10 years and this is why hopefully I can celebrate everything I have achieved by having one last big, amazing summer and competing of course at a home Commonwealth Games is just the perfect way to go out.”

The 31-year-old set new 5,000m and 10,000m British records at the start of 2020 and just this year became British champion once again in the 5000m walk.

After coming out in 2015, Bosworth became the only out gay male athlete on the British athletics team and has opened up on his sexuality and being able to relate to the coming out stories of Wales swimmer Dan Jervis, Blackpool footballer Jake Daniels and Dame Kelly Holmes .

Back in 2020, Bosworth wrote for Sky Sports to tell the story of his coming out journey, saying: “What has been really nice is that people who are inside of athletics and outside of athletics have been coming up to me to say ‘because of your story, it gave me the confidence to come out to my family or my friends’.

“That really means a lot because not everybody has to come out publicly.

“It was something I wanted to do to protect myself. Everyone wants to know everything about their Olympians in Olympic year, so I wanted to put it out there so that I could just enjoy my time with my now fiancee.

“But I appreciate that not everyone wants to do that. Sport is still a long way behind society but hopefully when there are more people like me, less people talk about people like me I guess.”

Bosworth proposed to his partner Harry on Copacabana beach during the Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro in 2016, a photograph of which – showing him down on one knee – went viral on social media and he will get married later this year in a Yorkshire castle and wants his wedding to be a big LGBTQ+ celebration.

The Kent-born Olympian, who holds the world record for the one-mile race walk, has also faced his own mental health battles in the past after being disqualified at the World Athletics Championships in London in 2017.

Bosworth became depressed and even considered taking his own life on more than one occasion after feeling he put too much pressure on himself during competitions.

He has since been a big advocate for mental health and opened up on his struggles to reach out to others who may have been suffering, telling Sky Sports: “I had isolated myself and it did feel like there was no way out. It felt like everything that I had worked hard for in my career, as well as everything me and Harry had worked together to build in our life, I was throwing it all away.

“I wasn’t happy with training, competing, with life… I realized I wasn’t who I wanted to be. At that point, I realized how badly I had been treating my family and more importantly, I realized how badly I was treating Harry.

“The only way out was to try and take my own life. On maybe the second or third attempt, Harry had said, ‘enough is enough, I can’t sit by you and stay with you’.

“It made me realize, standing on the bridge that night, I didn’t know who that person was when I was standing there. Thinking back now, it really takes complete control over your head and over your mind.”

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