Chris was incredibly brave and we’re all proud of him
Last updated at 09:23, Tuesday, 07 August 2012
HIGH in the stands of the Olympic Stadium, while 80,000 others were cheering Mo Farah on to his greatest victory, Chris Thompson’s family were willing him round the track.
His dad Peter, mum Wendy, brother Steve, sister Elizabeth and girlfriend Jemma Simpson – as well as aunties, uncles and numerous friends – had their own true Brit to support.
Each of them shouted Chris round the track, with Elizabeth managing to dash to trackside as her brother finished to wrap her arms around her hero and give him a huge hug.
All were proud of his courage and determination and girlfriend Jemma, whose own Olympic dream in the 800m failed to be realised, said: “We were willing him round and just hoping he could enjoy it, lap up the experience. He’s an Olympian now and that stays with him forever.
“He’ll be proud that he finished that race, that he got himself to the start line and that he really went for it – that’s great.
“He probably has more mental toughness than any other athlete I have ever met. He gets knocked down and he picks himself up.
“The last eight years, he has had horrific injuries every single year, except for 2010, when he got his silver medal at the Europeans.
“To keep picking yourself back up and putting yourself in the arena, you have to be really mentally tough to do that kind of thing.
“I’m really proud of him, he has done well.”
Chris’s dad Peter, who was taken aback by the level of support his son received from the town where he was born, said afterwards: “It was pretty early on that you could see he was going to struggle.
“But 10 weeks ago, we thought his Olympic dream was over because of the back injury he sustained.
“Somehow, the doctors, the physios have got him to the line. Chris has shown his typical courage and resilience just to get to that start line, just to become the Olympian that he now is.
“When he started to struggle, it wasn’t any surprise really. In normal circumstances, he wouldn’t have run, but it’s a home Olympics and he was never going to miss that.
“The noise in the stadium drove the athletes round and I’m sure that drove Chris round as well.
“It was incredibly brave and I couldn’t be prouder of him.
“At the end of the day, it’s his strength of character that has taken him through many, many problems in the past. If he just had a little bit more luck building up to this race, then he was on track to do something special. But that’s athletics, that’s sport – it’s tough and sometimes it doesn’t quite go for you.”
Jemma also revealed afterwards the extent of Chris’s injury problems.
Medics had given him no chance of being fit after the stress fracture of his lower back, and she added: “Chris has been through a lot in the last couple of months, which he didn’t necessarily want to make public.
“He had struggled with a back problem and we knew it was going to be one of those races which could have gone either way. It could have gone really, really, really well, or not so good and he might have been in the position he was in.
“That was the reality of the occasion for him, but he really worked hard.
“The medics said they didn’t think it was possible for him to run, but he was so determined in his mind that he pulled it out and got himself on the start line against all odds and did what he could do, gave it everything.”
First published at 16:14, Monday, 06 August 2012
Published by http://www.nwemail.co.uk
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We back up everything said here. Chris has true spirit and always tries his best and we are proud that he now has the accolade of being an Olympian. June & Ted