South Essex has developed countless Olympians who have gone on to represent their country over the years, but Max Whitlock made history at Rio 2016.

The coronavirus pandemic resulted in the latest Olympic Games – due to have taken place in Tokyo last year – being delayed by 12 months.

But our Max, who trains at the Basildon-based South Essex Gymnastics Club, made history at the last Olympics as he became Great Britain’s first ever Olympic gold medal-winning gymnast.

August, 14, 2016 turned into a day to remember for Max as he triumphed in the individual floor exercise final. Just hours later, he won a second gold in the individual pommel horse.

Echo: On his way to victory - Max Whitlock during his pommel horse routine which won goldOn his way to victory - Max Whitlock during his pommel horse routine which won gold

Max returned to Basildon weeks later, where he was welcomed by thousands of fans.

Scroll down to see more images of Max's Olympic dream coming true and homecoming.

Echo: Flying the flag - Max Whitlock stands proudly with the Union Jack having won gold on the pommel horse just hours after triumphing in the floor exerciseFlying the flag - Max Whitlock stands proudly with the Union Jack having won gold on the pommel horse just hours after triumphing in the floor exerciseEcho: On the podium - Max Whitlock with fellow Brit Louis Smith, who won silver, and USA's Alexander Naddour (left) after excelling in the pommel horse finalOn the podium - Max Whitlock with fellow Brit Louis Smith, who won silver, and USA's Alexander Naddour (left) after excelling in the pommel horse finalEcho: Great Britain's Max Whitlock celebrates winning a gold medal following victory on the floor apparatus on the ninth day of the Rio Olympics Games, Brazil.Great Britain's Max Whitlock celebrates winning a gold medal following victory on the floor apparatus on the ninth day of the Rio Olympics Games, Brazil.

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Echo: Memorable moment - double Olympic gold medallist Max Whitlock signs autographs during his South Essex Gymnastics Club homecomingMemorable moment - double Olympic gold medallist Max Whitlock signs autographs during his South Essex Gymnastics Club homecomingEcho: Proud - Max Whitlock and his mother Madeleine during a homecoming event at South Essex Gymnastics ClubProud - Max Whitlock and his mother Madeleine during a homecoming event at South Essex Gymnastics ClubEcho: Fanfare - then-Mayor of Basildon David Harrison watches on as Max Whitlock meets his fans after returning to Basildon just weeks after triumphing in the 2016 OlympicsFanfare - then-Mayor of Basildon David Harrison watches on as Max Whitlock meets his fans after returning to Basildon just weeks after triumphing in the 2016 OlympicsEcho: Royalty - our Max performed for Prince Charles after returning to Blighty from Rio 2016Royalty - our Max performed for Prince Charles after returning to Blighty from Rio 2016Echo: Showing his strength - Max Whitlock performs during the 2016 BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony, where he came in seventh placeShowing his strength - Max Whitlock performs during the 2016 BBC Sports Personality of the Year ceremony, where he came in seventh place