Former Bedford School pupil Phelan Hill scooped gold for Team GB in the men’s eight rowing team at the Rio Olympics on Sunday.
The 37-year-old, along with team-mates Matt Gotrel, Scott Durant, Tom Ransley, Andrew Hodge, Pete Reed, Paul Bennett, Matt Langridge and William Satch stormed to a convincing victory in the final race at the Lagoa stadium venue in Rio.
The GB team had a tremendous start, which even surprised the cox and former Bedford School pupil, Hill, as he said: “Looking at the splits we knew it would be tight through the first 500m and I thought it would be really tight through the second 500m.
“But coming up to the cave we were nearly out to a length, and my first thought was, ‘Oh my God’, we’re winning the Olympic final.’
“The second thought was, ‘We’re a long way up here, have we overcooked this?’
“But the team held their composure and, in an amazing display of determination and strength, powered to the finish line more than a second clear of the German crew.”
Bedford School’s Director of Rowing Pete Mulkerrins added: “Many others would have settled for an Olympic bronze medal in London 2012, but it is testament to the character of Phelan Hill that he was determined to achieve a gold medal.
“We are delighted that his dedication and tremendous hard work over the last four years has led to the ultimate prize.”
He is now an Olympic champion for the rest of his life. On behalf of the boys and Bedford School, I would like to congratulate him on this massive achievement, and look forward to welcoming him back to the school in the near future to share his experiences with all of the boys.”