Five-Time Champion Luke Strong Opens Up on Childhood Abuse and Potentially Career Ending Injury on Jsky’s Latest Podcast
Five-time British champion trampolinist Luke Strong opens up to singer, songwriter, fashionista Jsky on the latest episode of his new hit podcast series Jsky Chat – The Podcast.
Despite being subjected to years of abuse and childhood bullying, Luke has been able to forgive his tormentors as they hadn’t found their passion in life like he had.
When I got to high school…it kind of got a little bit rough. The kids started to make the jokes “oh you do gymnastics and you wear a leotard so you must be gay”. There was a period of time where it was difficult and I kind of separated my gymnastics life from school life. It was like I was leading two lives because I just wouldn’t bring it up in school or talk about it or bring attention to it just to save the jokes. Then once I left school, I got to do what I love.I was lucky. My parents and my friends at the gym and my coaches were all really supportive and said “school life doesn’t last forever and once you leave you’ll forget about all of the memories and probably not even really have contact with a lot of the people”. So I just always had at the back of my head “eventually this will be over and I’ll get to do what I love”. Luke Strong on Jsky Chat – The Podcast
Following a horrific injury early on in Luke’s career doctors considered amputating his leg and told him he may never walk again.
It was pretty crazy. I was only 15 years old. At the time I didn’t really know how much of a big deal it was. I remember getting to the hospital and the ambulance crew had said I dislocated my knee so I was like “oh that’s not that major”. But when I got to the hospital the leg just kept swelling and swelling so the doctors were like “that’s not normal”. I went for an emergency scan and it showed that I had badly fractured my tib and fib so they were like “we’ll take you down to theatre now and put a probe in to just measure the swelling and make sure everything is okay”. So I went down for a pretty minor surgery but when I got down there the swelling was already so bad that they had to make a call to my mum back in the waiting room and get her permission to do a major operation because I was only ten minutes away from losing my left leg. Compartment syndrome had already taken over.Of course, I had no idea about this. I just remember a week later waking up once the drugs had worn off and people telling me what had happened. At first it was really scary because the doctors had said “we’ll be happy if you ever walk again” and “sport’s probably not going to be possible, especially to a high level”. At the time it was sad. It was a pretty dark time but the whole time I was just determined that I was going to come back and that I was going to do the sport again because it was what I loved. Luke Strong on Jsky Chat – The Podcast
Luke recently hit headlines nationwide following a very public revelation on his sexuality.
For me, I didn’t look at it as a big coming thing or something that was brave. I was asked a question and was just honest about it. I’d never been asked before so I guess that’s why I had never spoken about it. To be honest I didn’t expect anyone to care. I did the interview thinking nothing would come about it. It wasn’t until two weeks later that I woke up in the morning, looked at my phone and it had gone crazy. There were articles everywhere.I still think it is important for people at the top of their sport or the thing that they do to be honest because I don’t remember as a kid there ever being a role model or someone for me. If I can help one kid in trampolining, or one person in the world be comfortable and happy with who they are then I guess it was worth it. Luke Strong on Jsky Chat – The Podcast
With an extensive history as a magazine editor and TV personality, Naked Beach star Jsky has interviewed everyone from Mark Ronson, to wil.i.am. He was accredited as an LGBTQ+ Pioneer of Colour by LGBT Foundation during Black History Month and was interviewed live on the world stage by The Economist Deputy Editor Tom Standage on topics of mental health, social media and body confidence during their Open Future Festival: Shaping the agenda for the 21st century. He is also the Showbiz Correspondent for BBC Radio Manchester and was a host on the hit body confidence phenomenon Channel 4 show Naked Beach.
“I started the podcast to continue a conversion. I had built a reputation for provoking thought from my outfit choices but I am more than the clothes that I wear and there was so much more I wanted to speak about.”“We are only as powerful as the stories we tell ourselves and I wanted to empower others by interviewing people with an inspirational message.”“A local hero who overcomes a potentially career ending injury to become a world champion boxing legend, the story of how Andy Burnham rose to become the first elect Major of Manchester…these are not only stories I wanted to gain insight in, but stories I felt should be shared.” Jsky on Jsky Chat – The Podcast
Jsky Chat – The Podcast | Episode 8 with Luke Strong out now