Benjamin Whittaker is a British boxer who has just won silver in Tokyo. The light heavyweight boxer has had an interesting journey to Olympic stardom. The boxer who suffers from ADHD comes from a boxing family, with his grandfather being a boxer and his father a boxing coach. Growing up, his father sent him to ballet and ballroom dancing classes to improve his footwork in the sport.
The boxer himself admits that all the dancing was helpful for his footwork, despite it being embarrassing for him, resulting in him never telling his school friends. Whittaker didn’t have the best time at school. He didn’t feel comfortable in his class and his ADHD did not help either. He was kicked out of school when he was a teenager. He says that boxing thought him discipline and how to calm himself down. He also said that being kicked out of school was a blessing in disguise for him.
After being kicked out of school, his father helped him find jobs. He first went to work at JD Sports. Ben was still a teenager and he didn’t have good social skills at the time. He said that that job was too much for him and he used to hide and cry in the toilets until his bosses found out and fired him. His father then helped him get a job with local club Wolverhampton Wanderers. That job didn’t last long either though as he said “It was cold there, I was struggling with my weight at the time and I got caught eating a Pukka Pie in the toilet.”
After being kicked out of school and fired from two jobs, Ben fully focused on his boxing and that decision payed off immensely. His main aim was to win gold at the Olympics. He met many other boxers and has impressed many others such as Anthony Joshua and Floyd Mayweather. The American advised him to forget about Olympics and to go professional, but the Brit ignored him and became an Olympian this year, where he lost in the final to Cuban Arlen Lopez
The boxer said that he is a sign for people suffering with ADHD that they can make it, and we couldn’t agree more! Even though the boxer came so close to winning gold, he can still be proud of himself for inspiring hundreds around the world.