There were heartwarming scenes of pure elation as Tom Dean’s family and friends celebrated his Olympic gold medal win on Tuesday.
The swimmer stormed to victory in the men’s 200 metres freestyle final at the Tokyo Aquatics Centre.
Due to Covid restrictions, his nearest and dearest were unable to be in Japan to support him so gathered in his mum’s garden here in the UK in the early hours to watch his event.
Video footage of their viewing party in Maidenhead shows how the crowd watched on tenterhooks as Tom competed, before they animatedly celebrated him winning gold.
Speaking of the moment he clinched first place, Tom’s mother Jacquie Hughes told BBC Radio 4’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.”
Footage of their celebrations caught the attention of BBC Sport presenter Gary Lineker, who shared it on Twitter, writing: “Wow! Magical.”
Tom finished in a time of one minute and 44.22 seconds, ahead of his British team mate Duncan Scott who collected silver in the men’s 200 metres freestyle.
His 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.’”
She 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 Tom and Duncan are expected to compete in the men’s 4x200m freestyle relay heats on Tuesday.
Tom’s victory marks Team GB’s fourth gold medal of this year’s Olympic Games, following a spate of victories on Monday.