Taking place between the 5th and the 21st August, the 2016 Olympic Games takes over the picturesque, festival city of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, under the watchful eyes of Christ the Redeemer.
In just the second day of the event, Great Britain won their first medal of the Rio Olympics 2016 as 21 year old Uttoxeter native Adam Peaty swam to victory in the men’s 100m breaststroke, creating a new world record in the process.
The first Brit to win an Olympic swimming gold medal since Adrian Moorhouse’s victory in Seoul in 1988, Peaty crossed the finish line in just 57.13 seconds, well clear of any opposition and breaking his own world record. This makes him the first man to swim under 58 seconds in the 100m breaststroke. Speaking about his achievement to the BBC, he commented, “It’s so surreal to get Team GB’s first gold. I came out tonight and took the first 50 easy and came back with everything I have got. I did it for my country and that means so much for me.”
No stranger to victory, Peaty already proudly held the titles of World, European and Commonwealth champion, and upon his Olympic debut in Rio, adds a gold medal to his trophy case. Describing the 21 year old’s victory to the BBC, Moorhouse cited, “He is very good at turning threats to opportunities. He has the technical ability and talent to do this and can then cope with the pressure of the moment and put a bubble around himself. He has got everything.”
Five time Olympic swimmer Mark Foster added, “Everything just went right. He has had problems with his start but he has worked on it tirelessly and everything came right for him. I knew the race was over before it started. Physically he is an absolutely beast.”
Beijing Olympics 2008 two medal winner Rebecca Adlington described how “His stroke and power is incredible.”
Peaty’s story is truly one for the ages – still living with his parents in Uttoxeter, Staffordshire, as a child, the 21 year old had a fear of water. He rose to prominence in 2014, where he brought two gold medals home from the Commonwealth Games, held in Glasgow, Scotland. In the same year, Peaty was shortlisted for BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2014 and again in 2015. Last year, he cemented his name in the history books by becoming the first man to go under 58 seconds in the 100m breaststroke at the world trials, with a world record time of 57.92 seconds. This year, he smashed his previous world record, lowering his time by 0.79 seconds in Rio.
Not the only member of the Peaty family to gain from this success, Peaty’s grandmother, Mavis, has become somewhat of an internet sensation overnight, with her Twitter follower count skyrocketing from just 106 to over 3,000, from a simple tweet of ‘My Grandson has done it’ with a string of celebratory swimming related emojis. Speaking to BBC Radio 5 Live, Mavis cited, “Caroline [Peaty’s mum] had to phone me because I said: ‘I can’t get this telly on’. I couldn’t get the red button going. Then I thought I know what I can do – my iPad! So I got the BBC up on my iPad and I watched it on there. Since I’ve been going to watch Adam, it’s given me a new life, a different life that I never dreamed of. I’ve loved every minute of it.”
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