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Tom Ransley pride in Olympic bronze rowing medal
10:30am Saturday 18th August 2012 in Sport
PRIDE and thanks for what York has provided were Olympic rowing star Tom Ransley’s feelings on his return to the city.
Part of the courageous Team GB men’s eight crew which claimed a bronze medal at London 2012, the 26-year-old came back to where he “cut his teeth” – York City Rowing Club – to help push the legacy for what was achieved over two glorious weeks of sport.
“I am really proud of this club and I am really thankful for everything it has given me and also for York city in its wider sense as well,” Ransley said. “I cut my teeth here, really grew up a bit, and I really appreciate everything it has given me. There is a lot of pride.”
He admitted he is still getting to grips with his achievements at Eton Dorney, where he and his crew-mates blasted out from the start to try to power their way to the gold medal.However, they had to settle for third behind a fearsome German boat and the Olympic champions Canada. He has been cheered by the public attitude to the boat’s approach in that race, even if he had not quite accepted the result yet.
Ransley added: “I still haven’t necessarily switched into the philosophical view or acceptance yet. You are building up to this for many years so it is still a bit much to be able to switch in just a week, but I know it is really good to get a medal.
“All the messages of support really bring that home to me. I’ve got great respect for the quality of the crews we were racing against and I have no regrets about the way we did it. That was definitely our best chance of winning.
“I am really glad people can see that. I haven’t watched it back myself yet, but that’s certainly the way we approached it.”
The question of Rio, in four years time, is one Ransley cannot answer yet – wanting to take some time to ensure he makes the right decision ahead of the massive commitment and dedication it would require to train for another Olympics.
“It’s a really quick question but it’s four years of your life so I am taking a bit of time to fully weigh it up,” he said. “When you get into it you need to be 100 per cent but it is definitely a strong option.
“It’s all still sinking in. We haven’t really had much space since the Olympics. In the second week, we went into the village and supported the rest of the team so it still hasn’t hit me yet. I think different people react over different periods of time.
“It was awesome. The village was something totally different – like a random world – and what I really liked about it was that it didn’t matter who you were, everyone was still going for the same thing and that was Olympic gold. You knew you had a shared set of values.
“It was also just wearing Team GB kit around and knowing you were part of one team. There was a definite sense of team and supporting everyone in the other sports.”
And Ransley has been inspired by the reaction to his, and the wider Team GB success, which has seen hundreds of people across York flock to clubs to try new sports – with 100 inquiries at York City Rowing Club alone.
He said: “That’s what the Olympics is all about. It has some really strong values at its core and if that message gets out there that’s a really strong thing. Numbers flooding into the boat clubs, and at grass roots level, is really good in terms of doing something active.”
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