James Willstrop is the new Commonwealth Games Champion in Squash, and therefore also The World Games Athlete of April 2018!
His career at The World Games begun in 2005, when he shared bronze in Duisburg with Nick Matthew. When Nick Matthew later triumphed at The World Games 2009 in Chinese Taipei, it was Willstrop he beat in the final. The pair also duelled for gold in two Commonwealth Games, with the outcome always being the same.
This was James Willstop's problem throughout his career: good enough to play in the important games, but mentally not strong enough to lift the trophy. Despite being the World number 1 for a period, he never won a major singles prize in his professional career. That is until his last-ever Squash game at the recent Commonwealth Games in April 2018, when he finally knew the elation of clutching the medal of a champion! A gold on the Gold Coast wrapped up a wonderful sporting celebration, where time after time athletes proved that no matter what disappointments and cruel strokes of fortune they have endured, perseverance and hard work can finally result in glory. Willstrop is not leaving Squash but he will also try his hand at acting, which is highly appropriate as his whole career could be made into a Hollywood movie!
The World Games is a multi-sport event staged every four years by the International World Games Association under the patronage of the International Olympic Committee. The 11th edition of The World Games will be held in Birmingham, Alabama, USA, 15-25 July 2021. 3,600 athletes from over 30 sports and 100 countries will take part in the Games.