Athlete profile: Anand Patel
Club: Manx Gymnastics Centre of Excellence
Hometown: Port St Mary, Isle of Man
Occupation: PHD in Chemistry at University College London
Glasgow Commonwealth Games, 2014 (Gymnastics)
Isle of Man Commonwealth Youth Games, 2011 (Gymnastics)
University College London Sports man of the Year 2015
Team Gold, Gymnastics – Aland Island Games, 2009
3rd Place (Vault) British Gymnastics Championships, 2010
(Anand picks up his sports man of the year award)
Commonwealth Games Achievements:
Isle of Man 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games
Gymnastics - Men's Qualification CI
Gymnastics - Men's Team CIV
Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games
Gymnastics - Artistic - Floor - Men (10.700)
Gymnastics - Artistic - Team Competition - Men (11th Position - 209.253)
When did you first represent Team Isle of Man at a Commonwealth Games?
My first experience with CGA IOM was just age 17, when I was selected to represent the IOM at the 2011 Commonwealth Youth Games in Isle of Man, for Gymnastics. I then progressed onto my first Commonwealth Games at Glasgow 2014.
Why do you participate in Gymnastics and represent Team Isle of Man?
My Mum actually forced me into Gymnastics! I began training at Manx Gymnastics Centre of Excellence since the age of five, in a bid to improve my spatial awareness, because I was very clumsy at primary school. Since then I have thoroughly enjoyed the experience of competing for Team Isle of Man and always striving to improve my performance!
What is the best thing about being a Gymnast?
Gymnastics always provides a challenge as there is always a new skill to learn and perfect! Besides the competitive element, it is a very fun sport! Backflips are very useful party tools!
If you had to describe the Commonwealth Games in three words, what would they be?
Incredible, Outstanding, Memorable (IOM)!
What has been your favourite sporting moment whilst involved with CGA IOM?
Nailing my two vaults in the Glasgow Commonwealth Games. As the youngest in the team, I did my job and to top it off, my vault was captured in the Guardian newspaper.
Have you got any funny stories to share with us during your time at the Commonwealth Games?
The selfie photo booth at Glasgow 2014! When gymnasts are in a small space, it gets complicated awfully quick! We tried to do handstands… but didn’t succeed!
What has been your ultimate achievement in sport?
Winning the team gold medal in the 2009 Åland Games. This was my first major competition and I loved the experience. It was from this moment where I decided to pursue gymnastics. Hence the achievement was deciding to dedicate my sporting life to gymnastics.
What principles do you currently follow in your training that are keys to your success?
Have you had a key role growing up?
Kohei Uchimura takes superhuman to another level. He is world champion 6 times and he is still on the rise. His approach to training and competition is unique; he is the master of using the mind and body synergistically to perform the most difficult of moves with beauty. This is something that I am striving to master!
What has been the most significant challenge you have faced in your preparation leading up to a sporting event? How did you overcome this?
An array of life-changing injuries! I snapped my arm which permanently compromised my ability to train in 2011. I then deliberately re-broke it as an attempt to fix it. Only a mad scientist like me would do this! It worked allowing me to compete in the 2014 Commonwealth Games! Currently over the past year, I have been recovering from a knee injury and now I am starting to compete again for future international competitions. Overcoming these injuries have been a nightmare, but they have brought me invaluable experience to learn how to train responsibly and more effectively.
What would be your advice for a young aspiring athlete aiming to represent Team Isle of Man?
I would recommend competing in events in the UK and internationally more often. You can only achieve so much competing on the Isle of Man, and to be the best you have to beat the best!
Where do you see yourself in the future? What aims do you have?
I am currently pursuing a PHD in Chemistry at University College London. I look to present and publish science, with the long run ambition of setting up a chemistry-related business once I have the necessary experience.
I also aim to keep on top of my fitness, improve my skill set and basics for future competitions, and aim for the Northern European Championships and Gold Coast, 2018!
Credit: Tom Jenkins/the Guardian