Heartwarming moment Tom Dean’s loved-ones watch him secure Olympic gold medal from home in Maidenhead

Heartwarming moment Tom Dean’s loved-ones watch him secure Olympic gold medal from home in Maidenhead

Moments like these are what sport is all about.

A video of swimmer Tom Dean’s family and friends reacting to his triumph at the Olympics has melted hearts across Twitter – reminding us all of the human impact of the Games.

Of course, it’s a source of national pride that Dean secured one of Great Britain’s four gold medals so far, but seeing his loved-ones – prevented from joining him in Japan due to Covid – celebrating at home makes the 21-year-old’s victory all the more poignant.

Dean finished in a time of one minute and 44.22 seconds, ahead of his British compatriot Duncan Scott who collected silver at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.

His mother Jacquie Hughes spoke of the moment she watched her son scoop the top prize from their home in Maidenhead.

She told the BBC’s ‘Today Programme’: “I looked around at my other children and people in my garden in the early hours this morning, and they were all crying. I was just in shock.

“We were all jumping around like whirling dervishes.

“Tom says he feels like he’s in a dream and I think I’m with him in the same dream.”

Dean’s win is even more remarkable given that it was by no means certain he’d even make it to this year’s Olympics. He was forced to spend a total of seven weeks out of training after contracting coronavirus twice over the past year.

Following his second positive test in January, the 21-year-old said his symptoms were much more severe, telling the BBC he could not walk up the stairs “without coughing and wheezing”.

He said: “When I was sitting in my flat in isolation, Olympic gold seemed like a million miles off. But here we are.”

His proud mum also told Sky News that her son’s life has “changed forever” after he became the first British man to win an Olympic freestyle title in 113 years.

She said: “Before the race he was very quiet, contained and internal and very methodical, he knew what he had to do, he just wanted to get on with it.

“After the race he said: ‘Mum I just feel like I’m in a dream I knew I could win it but none of it’s sunk in.’”

Mrs Hughes added: “I just said to him, ‘Tom my heart is bursting’ and it’s not just because you have won a gold medal it’s the way he conducts himself, the way he picks himself up after disappointment.

“He’s had two bouts of Covid this year, it’s really knocked his plan off. I’m just so proud of the way he approaches it.”

Both Dean and Scott are expected to compete in the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay heats on Tuesday.

The victory marks Team GB’s fourth gold medal of this year’s Games, following a spate of victories on Monday.

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