22 November 2017Retirement statement from Liam Phillips
In February of this year, I crashed and sustained injuries to my hand and wrist. Despite my best efforts and those of an extremely well qualified medical team, I failed to recover to a standard in which I am able to return to competition. Regretfully, these injuries are therefore deemed to be career ending. I would like to take this opportunity to thank Mike Hayton & the medical team at British Cycling for their relentless work over the past 9 months. Although this isn’t easy, I can move forward knowing that I’ve worked with a group of individuals that gave me the best chance possible of recovering to compete again. I would also like to extend my gratitude to British Cycling’s medical team for their work over the past 12 years. Breaking your collarbone 12 weeks before London 2012 & 8 weeks before Rio 2016 isn’t everyone’s idea of 'perfect preparation’! Although I didn’t quite achieve what I set out to at the Olympics, they never lost faith in me and allowed me to compete at those two events specifically.
I can honestly say that I achieved more throughout my career than I ever thought possible. Since attending my first World Championships and seeing the rainbow jersey as a kid, my dream was to someday wear it. Becoming World Champion and wearing the rainbow jersey was the proudest 12 months of my career! Winning a home World Cup 4 years on the bounce & striving to be the best in the World on a daily basis are memories that I’ll always cherish. There is one man that was more instrumental than any other throughout this journey. None of it would have been possible without him. Good things happen when you work with good people & I am grateful to have had Grant White as my coach over the past 9 years. I look forward to continuing to work & learn from Grant as I explore the world of BMX coaching moving forward!
I still have a huge appetite for BMX. I have gained a vast amount of knowledge and experience over the years and I will be looking to share that moving forward. I would like to help athletes who have talent but need some guidance to help plan, prepare and shape their programmes. If I’m no longer able to compete myself, it feels right for me to assist others in their quest to achieve their goals. My commitment to the UCI Athletes Commission will ensure I attend most major events where I will speak on behalf of the athletes as we shape the future of our sport.
My passion for coffee has led to the opening of Common Ground. I have enjoyed the challenges of starting a new business & I’m excited to see the shop grow and what lies ahead.
Finally, I would like to thank my family for the sacrifice and commitment to my obsession over the past 20 years. My girlfriend for constantly being there through the ups & downs. My friends for understanding and supporting my athlete lifestyle over the years; and my sponsors for providing me with the best equipment and support on and off the track. Lastly my training partners and competitors who ensured I pushed myself to the limit all year round.
It’s been a blast.
(Photo credit: www.markrobinsonphoto.com )