‘WE aren’t special people, we just have a dream and a will to succeed and be as good as possible’- the words of former Evesham Rowing Club star Alex Gregory following his gold medal win in Rio.
Gregory, who is now a double Olympic Champion, has spoken to the Observer just days after winning his second gold medal in the Men’s Coxless Four last Friday (August 13).
The 27-year-old and his crew mates Mohamed Sbihi, George Nash and Constantine Louloudis were dominant on the water throughout the Olympic campaign in their quest for gold.
Their gold medal now means Britain has won the event at five consecutive Olympic Games.
Gregory, who was the only remaining crew member from the 2012 gold medal winning quartet, told the Observer of the ‘huge pressure’ on his and his crew’s shoulders going into the final.
“It’s a privilege to have had the opportunity to challenge for a second gold medal,” he said.
“To have come out the other side with the gold medal was initially a relief. Now as everything starts to settle there’s an enormous sense of satisfaction. It’s impossible to describe what goes into an Olympic rowing campaign, but to get the result I needed makes it all worth while.
“There was huge pressure on our shoulders. It was a challenge to block it out and concentrate on what we needed to, but part of that pressure brings motivation.
“There’s a confidence in our team and crew knowing it’s been done before.
The former Prince Henry’s High School student also hopes his win will inspire more young people to take up the sport.
“I’m proud to be named in a long line of my rowing heroes who have raced and won in this boat class. That pressure makes the win even more special,” he added.
“I started off as a young lad at Evesham Rowing Club. Keith Rafter & Dave Perry coached me, supported me and still do 15 years on.
“We aren’t special people, we just have a dream and a will to succeed and be as good as possible. That has taken me to two Olympic gold medals, something I certainly never expected. I hope this gives young people motivation to try to do the same.”