'I was faced with the choice: Either stick with working 40 hours in the kitchen or get paid to do something I love and take a chance on going to the Olympics.'
Four years ago, Charlotte Worthington was working as a chef in a Mexican restaurant in Manchester.
Days off work were spent pursuing her passion for BMX riding, but at that point, it was simply a hobby and the idea of doing it full-time was just a pipe dream.
But in 2018, she received enough funding from British Cycling to quit her job as a chef, and has been cooking up a storm in the world of BMX Freestyling ever since.
Worthington had already enjoyed success at the inaugural UEC BMX Freestyle Park European Championships and the World Championships in 2019, winning gold and bronze respectively.
But her shining moment undoubtedly came in the 2020 Tokyo Olympics, where BMX Freestyling made its debut as an Olympic sport, with Worthington becoming the first winner of a gold medal after a sensational, record-breaking display.
The 26-year-old landed an incredible 360-degree backflip in competition to soar to the summit of the podium, a move she had kept secret before attempting.
Worthington said: “Because we had to keep it [the 360 backflip] under wraps, we gave it the nickname ‘The Ferrari’.”
Worthington will be one of the favourites going into the European Championships in Munich later this year, but has insisted that any potential moves are, for now, 'top-secret.'
For the second edition in 2022, the innovative competition brings together the existing championships of the continent’s leading sports into one multi-sport event to create a must-watch, must-attend experience that elevates the Champions of Europe.
Worthington revealed some of her top tips for a strong run, suggesting that she always aims to hit all the ramps in the park in order to showcase a variety of tricks.
She added: “You have really got to play to your strengths and plan your run around that one minute. Keep your momentum high and your speed high. Something where you’re not going to get stuck.
“The things that stay the same are the tricks. You have to be able to adapt them to bigger or smaller ramps.”
The European Championships builds the prestige and profile of the individual championships by uniting them in one multi-sport event every four years.
The event inspires the next generation of young athletes through the power of sport – leaving a lasting legacy for future generations.
Gold is undoubtedly the aim for Worthington as she prepares for Munich, although she will face tough competition from Nikita Ducarroz of Switzerland and Lara Lessmann of Germany.
Worthington said: “I wasn’t able to attend the most recent European Championships in Russia, which was in 2021. So sadly, I had to lose that title [from 2019]. And so, I definitely have a goal to win that title back.”
The multi-sport European Championships Munich 2022, featuring Athletics, Beach Volleyball, Canoe Sprint, Cycling, Gymnastics, Table Tennis, Triathlon, Rowing, Sport Climbing, takes place 11th-21st August on the 50th anniversary of the Olympics Games in the Germany city. Buy tickets at tickets.munich2022.com