“In 2018, I Was Working in a Restaurant”- Great Britain’s Charlotte Worthington Makes History at the Tokyo Olympics 2020

Published 08/01/2021, 8:21 AM EDT
Tokyo 2020 Olympics – BMX Freestyle – Women’s Park – Medal Ceremony – Ariake Urban Sports Park, Tokyo, Japan – August 1, 2021 Gold medallist Charlotte Worthington of Britain poses. REUTERS/Christian Hartmann


History was made earlier today when Chef turned BMX freestyle rider, Charlotte Worthington became the first female BMX athlete to pull off a 360 backflip in Olympic competition. She continued the winning streak of Great Britain in the BMX events. 

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She fell during her first run while trying the exact same trick. Olympic favorite Hannah Roberts aced her first run, scoring 96.10. It seemed as though she was cruising to an Olympic gold, as none of the other competitors were able to come close to her score.

Tokyo 2020 Olympics – BMX Freestyle – Women’s Park – Final – Ariake Urban Sports Park, Tokyo, Japan – August 1, 2021. Charlotte Worthington of Britain in action. REUTERS/Matthew Childs

Charlotte Worthington with an Olympic first

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The 25-year-old knew she needed to do something special to beat 19-year-old Roberts. She went for the same trick, a 360 backflip. Professional BMX freestylers have done this move before, but no female BMX rider has attempted this at the Olympics.

Charlotte added to Great Britain’s success in BMX, and shortly after, Declan Brooks secured the Bronze in the men’s event. Earlier in the week, Great Britain had won two medals in the women’s and men’s BMX racing event.

Brittany Shriever secured the gold and Kye Whyte secured the silver in their events.

Serving up an Olympic gold

Charlotte Worthington shifted into the BMX scene pretty late in her career. The 25-year-old used to work as a chef in a Mexican restaurant back home.

After the event, she spoke in an interview saying, “In 2018, I was working in a restaurant. At that time it was the Racconto Lounge in Bury, but I started working in restaurants in the Beagle in Manchester.”

She still loved BMX riding and used to train and compete in a few events. She didn’t shift to BMX full time till she found out that Great Britain is putting together a team for the Tokyo Olympics.

“In 2018, I went to a couple of events and contests and got speaking to people and found out about BMX being in the Olympics and British cycling were putting together a team.

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“At the time, I was just taking a lot of really cool opportunities that I enjoyed doing and it just kind of snowballed from there.”

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It worked out well for her in the end, as she will come home with an Olympic gold medal around her neck. The 25-year-old doesn’t contemplate retiring and may just be back to defend her gold medal. 

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Allan Binoy

211 articles

Allan Binoy is a Combat Sports Author at EssentiallySports. He is currently pursuing a bachelor's degree in English Literature. Allan is a semi-professional football player for Diego Juniors FC.

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