The father of Olympic silver medallist Jack Beaumont has told of his pride at his son’s success – more than 30 years after he himself represented Team GB at the Seoul Games.
Peter Beaumont, 56, came fourth in the coxed eight rowing event at the 1988 Olympics – an achievement his son has now surpassed after claiming a surprise sliver medal in the men’s quadruple sculls.
Jack and his teammates Harry Leask, Angus Groom and Tom Barras held off the Australians and the Polish to finish second in Tokyo on Wednesday.
Peter Beaumont said: “I am very, very proud as a parent, to see your son take up a sport that was your passion and something that I got to the highest levels of by reaching the Olympic finals, to see your son do that with a real passion and love for the sport has been absolutely wonderful.
“They fought so hard in that race today, it was not a case of them losing the gold, they actually really did win the silver.”
He added: “To see the joy on their faces when they picked up their medals, it makes you think all those long hours for years and years and years were all worth it.”
In our sculling team, there’s a tradition of being in the shadows a little bit. We’ve built on years of hard, hard work and near misses and I’m so proud to get this silver medal. It’s the start of a new history, and that’s awesome.Jack Beaumont
The achievement was Britain’s first rowing medal at the Sea Forest Waterway in these Games.
Speaking afterwards, Jack Beaumont said: “We’re hugely proud. We’ve worked so hard. We’ve been part of a rowing team that’s had huge success, a huge tradition of British rowing.
“But, in our sculling team, there’s a tradition of being in the shadows a little bit. We’ve built on years of hard, hard work and near misses and I’m so proud to get this silver medal. It’s the start of a new history, and that’s awesome.”
The medal came after a disappointing performance by the men’s four, who fell back into fourth place after a fumble brought the British boat out of its lane, almost colliding with Italy.
Mr Beaumont sympathised with the team having finished in the same position in Seoul, behind United States in third, Soviet Union in second and West Germany who took home the gold.
He said: “As an athlete myself I know it can go the other way, and when I was racing in the Olympics we came fourth, and it is disappointing, for days afterwards you are thinking what could I have changed?
“But, then you soon realise that you were fourth in the Olympics, you are an Olympian and you did something that was exceptional at the highest level and you soon become really proud of what you did.”
Mr Beaumont also runs the GB Rowing Team supporters group, which was originally created to assist families with travelling but has become a social media hub of support during coronavirus.
“There is a really strong comradery amongst all of the parents, and normally you are in the grandstands supporting each other through the triumphs and disappointments, but this time it has all been on social media,” he said.
“As part of the group we have a very active Whatsapp group and over the past five nights it has just been buzzing with everyone supporting each other.”