Five great Olympians who grew up in Cambridgeshire

To many Cambridgeshire isn’t exactly a sporting county. Sure we have the boat race but that’s pretty much it.

But hidden in the depths of our little county are a number of golden postboxes showing the places where our gold medal-winning Olympic athletes grew up.

Some of the following sportsmen and women are pretty famous, like Peterborough-born gymnast Louis Smith and skeleton racer Amy Williams, while some of the following athletes have achieved some pretty incredible things but perhaps don’t have the fame they deserve.

Below are some of Cambridgeshire’s greatest Olympians in recent times.

Jonnie Peacock

Jonnie with his gold medal after winning the 100m in Rio
(Image: Adam Davy/PA Wire)

Jonnie Peacock, 27, was born in Doddington and is a 100m sprinter.

Peacock lost his leg when he was five just below the knee.  He contracted meningitis and had to have his right leg amputated.

However, he was determined to play football. His mum would sometimes have to carry him to school when his prosthetic leg became too sore from running.

He set a world record in amputee sprinting at the United States Paralympic track and field trials in June 2012, recording a time of 10.85 seconds over 100m, 0.06 seconds quicker than the previous record.

He was subsequently beaten a year later by American Richard Browne who got a time of 10.83, just 0.02 seconds quicker than Peacock’s.

He won the gold medal in both the 2012 London Paralympic and the 2016 Rio Paralympic for the 100m T44. In London he broke the Paralympic record for the 100m with a time of 10.90 seconds. He then went to smash this record at Rio with a time of 10.81 seconds.

Peacock was awarded an MBE in 2013, and a postbox in Doddington was painted gold to commemorate his gold medals.

He was also a contestant on Strictly Come Dancing with partner Oti Mabuse. They were the eighth couple to be eliminated.

Louis smith

Louis Smith
(Image: Jeff Holmes/PA Wire)

Olympic medallist, Louis Smith, 31, was born in Peterborough.

The gymnast came away with a medal at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, 2012 London Olympics and 2016 Rio Olympics – with two bronze and two silver in total. He was the first British gymnast to win a medal at the Olympics since 1928.

Smith also competed in the team all-round at the 2012 Olympics which took bronze.

He is the only British gymnast to win Olympic medals in three separate games, and only the second gymnast after Marius Urzică to win three successive Olympic pommel horse medals.

Smith is a member of the Huntingdon Gymnastics Club. He also competed in Strictly Come Dancing in 2012 which he won with partner Flavia Cacace. He had also unsuccessfully auditioned for the X-Factor in 2008.

In 2012, he was appointed MBE for services to gymnastics.

Lauren Steadman

Paratriathlete World Champion Lauren Steadman
(Image: Mead Norton/Getty Images)

British Paralympic athlete Lauren Steadman, 27, was born in Peterborough.

She has competed in three Summer Paralympic games including the 2008 Summer Paralympics in Beijing and 2012 Summer Paralympics in London as a swimmer, before switching to paratriathlon for the 2016 games in Rio where she won a silver medal in PT4.

Her uncle was a traiathlete which one of the reasons why she decided to switch disciplines, going from just swimming, to swimming, cycling and running.

Steadman also competed on Strictly, getting to the semi-final with parter AJ Pritchard. She was also a finalist in SAS: Who Dares Wins Celebrities this year on Channel 4.

Amy Williams

Amy Williams competes in the women’s skeleton at the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics
(Image: Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Gold medal-winning skeleton racer Amy Williams, 37, was born in Cambridge and went on to be the first British individual gold medallist at a Winter Olympics for 30 years.

Originally a 400m runner, she began training for skeleton after trying the sport on a push-start track at Bath University. She went on to win a silver medal at her first major event at the World Championships at Lake Placid in 2009.

She couldn’t enter the 2006 winter Olympics as Great Britain was only allowed to enter one skeleton competitor, losing the spot to Shelley Rudman who won the silver medal that year.

But Williams would finally get to the Olympics in 2010, winning the gold and breaking the course record in Vancouver twice.

She was also the only British medalist at the 2010 Winter Olympics as well. Williams was awarded an MBE in 2010 for her sporting efforts.

She had also competed in the Wales Rally GB and is now a commentator for the BBC during the Winter Olympics.

Daniel Goodfellow

England’s Daniel Goodfellow and Tom Daley compete in the Men’s Synchronised 10m Platform Final
(Image: PA Wire/PA Images)

Daniel Goodfellow, 23, was also born in Cambridge.

Born in 1996, Goodfellow attended Melbourn Village College and was part of the Cambridge Dive Team at Parkside Pools in Cambridge. He was selected for the Great Britain development squad aged 15.

He and Tom Daley would win the bronze medal in the men’s 10m synchronised platform dive at the 2016 Olympics in Rio. The pair would then go on to win gold in the same event at the Commonwealth Games and European Championships.

Cambridgeshire Live – Home