A FORMER Evesham rower who won his second Olympic gold medal at this summer’s Rio Games has become one of the first recipients of an award to recognise those who champion the county.
Alex Gregory MBE will be honoured with the Worcestershire Black Pear Tree award on Friday, October 28 at Evesham Rowing Club, to thank him for raising the profile of World Class Worcestershire.
After being crowned world champion in 2013, 2014 and 2015, Alex completed a golden Olympiad in Brazil as he helped GB secure a fifth successive men’s coxless four title.
The 32-year-old and crew-mates Mohamed Sbihi, George Nash and Constantine Louloudis were dominant on the water at the Lagoa Stadium and in the final they finished more than a second ahead of Australia and more than four seconds ahead of Italy.
Gregory was also the only remaining crew member from the London 2012 gold medal winning quartet.
“The support I’ve received from Worcestershire is not just a recent thing. I’ve been supported since first taking up rowing at Evesham rowing club 16 years ago,” he said.
“The journey has not been straight forward and through many difficult times the messages of support from people in the county have meant everything to me.
“Now I can repay that support with two Olympic gold medals, a part of which belongs to the people of Worcestershire. Thank you for the award, it’s truly an honour to receive a Worcestershire Black Pear Tree,” he added.
Gregory is one of three county Olympians/Paralympians to receive the award, being joined by fellow rower Lauren Rowles, who scooped gold in the trunk-arms mixed double scull at the Rio Paralympics and swimmer Claire Cashmore, who won gold in the 34-point 4x100m medley relay.
Coun Lucy Hodgson, cabinet member with responsibility for localism and communities at Worcestershire County Council, said: “The county is filled with local heroes and people who deserve to be acknowledged.
“Winning an Olympic gold medal is an incredible achievement, which makes Alex the perfect person to pick up this award.”
More winners of the prestigious accolade will be named shortly and residents can also nominate those who they think should receive the unique prize, which is open to individuals, companies and organisations who champion Worcestershire.
Visit www.worldclassworcestershire.co.uk and go to the ‘Get Involved’ section to make a nomination or for more information.