In London 2012 Lutalo brilliantly secured a bronze medal after beating a string of world leading fighters; this was the culmination of many years of dedication, but before he even won the medal his selection for the Games was under scrutiny in the much profiled selection between himself and Aaron Cook. Lutalo did his talking on the mat and secured a medal in his first Games.
London was then followed by four years of total dedication to his sole focus to become Olympic champion in Rio 2016. Lutalo again had to go through a very touch selection process because there again were other GB fighters at the top of their game fighting for selection. Lutalo was selected for the Games and but for a last second flying kick would have secured his dream and Olympic title.
Lutalo was obviously totally devastated post fight, and this was shown across the world post fight interview with the BBC, his dream had been crushed. He caught the hearts of the nation with Great Britain empathising with his distraught reaction and assuring him that he did not let down Team GB. Comments such as “if only everyone was as passionate about their sport as Lutalo Muhammad,” went viral. Lutalo has made a name for himself and taekwondo which has gained a lot of publicity, the sport adding three medals to Team GB’s tally.
“When I first started to compete internationally the GLL Sport Foundation was my only source of funding and I sincerely say ‘but for GSF’ I would not have transitioned from a skinny kid that loved sport to an Olympic medallist. I’ll never forget the help I received.”
Lutalo has not only had an achievement only most people can dream of, he has also returned to London and given back to the community. He attended the I Am Team GB Open Day at the Copper Box Arena and had a queue out the door of people wanting a photo with him. Giving up his personal time to attend events like this is remarkable and is recognised and appreciated by the GLL Sport Foundation and members of the community.
We asked Lutalo a couple of questions.
How does it feel to be a double Olympic medallist?
“Absolutely fantastic, being a double Olympic medallist is something that I have always wanted!! Coming so close to gold has made me even hungrier to be an Olympic champion. Make sure you follow my journey to Tokyo 2020 it is going to be exciting!”.
What advice would you give to a young athlete who wants to be the next Lutalo Muhammad?
“Pick one sport, one discipline and stick at it. Take it from me you will get good and once you are good enter competitions, its competitions that really hones talent and skill”.