With the New Year almost a month old and 2014 fading into the history books one moment is still at the forefront of Max Whitlock’s mind.
As the 22-year-old stepped out into Glasgow’s SSE Hydro for the first time during the Commonwealth Games the noise hit him like nothing he had experienced before.
It was an atmosphere that Whitlock would thrive on and prosper in – finishing the Games with gold in the team, all-around and floor and adding pommel horse silver and parallel bars bronze to his Commonwealth collection.
Whitlock has long been accustomed to winning at elite competitions after announcing himself to the senior circuit with three medals at Delhi 2010.
In the three years that followed, Whitlock then picked up double Olympic bronze, two gold, a silver and a bronze at European level and a silver at the World Championships in Antwerp back in 2013.
And in 2014 Whitlock kept that medal-laden run going, fulfilling a long-term ambition by claiming European gold on the pommel horse before heading to Glasgow.
It was there that Whitlock showed exactly what he is capable of and with, five medals under his belt, it was an event that sent Whitlock to the World Championships full of confidence.
“I think the Commonwealths were so good not just because of my results but because of that feeling of being at a multi sport event,” said Whitlock.
“The Europeans were a great starter for me in 2014 and I was so happy to come out with a gold medal on the pommel horse.
“That’s been a target for me for a while so going into the Commonwealths was fantastic and I was really looking forward to it.
“And then the Commonwealths were actually my favourite competition that I have had the chance to compete in, I really enjoyed it.
“Having that feeling of being in a Games in Britain and getting the support of the crowd.
“Every time I walked into that arena I got goose bumps all over my body and the whole feeling of being in the village and competing together made that experience special.”
The World Championships would prove to be a huge test for Whitlock who struggled to find form and failed to make the qualification to any of the individual finals.
However, when teammate Nile Wilson pulled out of the all-around final Whitlock stepped up and claimed his second world silver behind five-time champion Kohei Uchimura.
The silver would be the crescendo of a stellar year that would earn Whitlock a BBC Sports Personality of the Year award.
But, despite the plaudits, he is already focusing on the challenges ahead and a return to Glasgow for this year’s World Championships.
“At the moment I’m on track with the competitions I’ve done and the results I’ve got so I’m pleased with that,” he added.
“Hopefully I can keep pushing because it’s all about keeping going and getting better.
“We aren’t too far away now and it’s coming around so fast that it’s crazy.
“Sometimes you’re in the gym and you think I’ve got a bit of time but you haven’t and you have to push every day.
“At the moment I’m pushing on and trying to learn new skills for competitions this year and just take it step by step on the road to Rio.”
© Sportsbeat 2015