Peterborough rower James Fox brings home a gold medal at the Paralympics - and there is success for other Cambridgeshire athletes in Brazil
A Paralympic gold medal winning rower will have a special treat waiting for him when he gets home - his mum's home cooking.
James Fox - a former Jack Hunt School pupil - is one of a number of athletes from the Peterborough area who contributed to Paralympics GB’s medal rush this week in Rio when he was part of the successful coxed fours team that took gold on Sunday.
His mum, Clare has been in Brazil supporting him during his competition, and she said: “We have been preparing to come to Rio for months and James and the GB rowing team have a strict training programme finely tuned to achieve best performance on all the international regattas.
“They train twice a day 6 or 7 days every week so they have to dedicate their whole lives to their sport it’s not like doing an ordinary job.”
While Clare has been in Rio, in the run up to the final she was not able to see her son.
She said: “The athletes are confined to the Olympic Village and have no opportunity to see family but James messages me throughout the day.
“I felt sick and drained with emotions on the finals day but the atmosphere amongst all the GB friends and family there was mutually supportive as we were all in it together.
“After the medal presentation the athletes were allowed just 5 minutes for kisses and tears from proud family between media interviews and drug testing but I got to hold his gold medal and Tom the gold haired mascot he received.
“GB rowing had a celebration party that night which allowed me precious time with my two sons together for the first time in months. It was a very special evening when we could catch up properly and just be together as a family. James knows he has a lot of media appointments when he returns on 19th but I hope to have him home by the end of September for a well earned rest and home cooked dinners.”
James is not the only former Jack Hunt pupil competing in the Paralympics - wheelchair basketball star Lee Manning has helped propel Britain into the quarterfinals.
Chris Game, director of Sport at the school, said; “We are absolutely thrilled James and Lee are representing Great Britain at the Rio Paralympic games in their respective sports.
“They are both dedicated athletes who have worked extremely hard during the last four years to achieve their goals.
“The hard work paid off for James on Sunday when he achieved his dream of winning a gold medal in the rowing mixed coxed four.
“The wheelchair basketball team has made a fantastic start to the tournament and we hope this success continues for them and Lee in their coming matches”
Other successes in Rio include Wisbech’s Jody Cundy who found redemption after winning his 1km time trial in the velodrome, four years after being disqualified in London. He also won gold in the team sprint. Doddington’s Jonny Peacock defended his 100m title. Pre-race favourite Lauren Steadman from Sawtry took silver in the triathlon. But there was disappointment for Stilton’s Matt Skelhon. The defending champion failed to make it out of qualifying in the 10m air rifle event.