Olympic gold medal winners surprise young swimmers ahead of races

Olympic champions Tom Dean, Freya Anderson and Matt Richards

Six of Team GB’s gold-medal winning athletes surprised hundreds of shocked young swimmers when they recently turned up to cheer them on at their local competitions.

Speedo ambassadors Adam Peaty, Tom Dean, Duncan Scott, Anna Hopkin, Matt Richards and Freya Anderson all took time out of their busy training schedules to support the bumper crowds who had gathered at competitions and training sessions in three different parts of the UK.

To celebrate the return of competitions across the UK following the pandemic, three-time Olympic gold medallist Peaty was joined by Hopkin, who won her first gold this summer, to gatecrash the City of Derby Open Meet at the ARC Leisure Centre in Matlock, Derbyshire, where Peaty swam as a teenager.

The duo were given a rapturous welcome by the amazed youngsters before handing out prizes, giving advice and posing for pictures alongside their medals.

Meanwhile, Dean, who won double gold in Tokyo, returned to support his hometown club Maidenhead Marlins and was joined by fellow Team Speedo stars Anderson and Richards who both won relay golds last summer.

Duncan Scott, who became the most decorated Team GB athlete at a single Olympics last year when he won four medals, took up the role of assistant coach for a training session in Falkirk, Scotland. The Scot was happy to share advice and training tips as he dropped in on some of the country’s most promising swimmers.

Speaking at the event, Peaty said: “It’s always a pleasure to come back home and cheer on the next generation of swimmer, I have some really fond memories of competing here in my teenage years and it’s great to think that a future Team GB gold could be being developed here today. Credit to Speedo for bringing us down and recognising the importance of the return of these events.

“We’re coming off the back of the best ever performance from a Team GB Swimming squad and it’s important that we continue that momentum and inspire as many kids to take up swimming as possible. I’ve signed so many things for the kids today, but it’s a day they’ll never forget.”

200m freestyle Olympic champion Tom Dean added: “It was great to see all the swimmers from my old club Maidenhead Marlins in action today. It’s been a great day and to see so many young swimmers coming back to compete is fantastic. Hopefully, we’ll see some of them representing their country in the future but supporting the grass roots level of the sport is incredibly important and it was great to see the kids, their parents, coaches and volunteers all enjoying themselves again.”

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