British shooter wants to inspire a handful
LONDON (Reuters) - Never mind inspiring a generation, British Olympic shooting gold medalist Peter Wilson would be happy with inspiring just a handful to take up his sport.
The double trap champion told reporters on Sunday, the final day of the Games, how he had made a start already on spreading some of his Olympic excitement around.
"Two days ago I sat on the tube (Underground), all of the attention and hype had died down, and there were two little boys sitting to my left and they were arguing over who was going to win, whether it would be Mo Farah or whether he would get beaten," said the 25-year-old.
"I had my Olympic gold medal in my pocket and I thought 'I know what's going to happen if I get it out, I'll get mobbed'. But I wasn't too far away from Stratford (the Olympic Park and village) and I thought it would just make their day."
Wilson leant over, laughingly recounting how the boys' mother had given him the sort of look that flashed 'stranger danger', and enquired of one of the pair: "Have you seen one of these?".
The look of total shock and excitement on the boy's face, he said, had been one of his experiences of the Games.
"I don't attribute this to anyone, I attribute this to the people of Britain," Wilson, trained by Dubai's 2004 double trap gold medalist Sheikh Ahmed bin Hasher Al-Maktoum, said of the medal hanging around his neck.
"If that's all I've given back, to that little child who gets to experience that little small part of the Olympics, then that for me is an incredible experience. I only hope he takes up sport and enjoys it."
The London 2012 motto is 'Inspire a Generation' and Britain's athletes have been doing their best to do that by winning 29 golds and 64 medals in total in their best performance since 1908.
Wilson, a farmer's son who has worked in a pub and driven tractors to fund his way in the sport, said he intended to go on to the next Games in Rio de Janeiro and beyond.
"Everyone talks of inspiring a generation, I really hope to inspire a handful of people as a more realistic goal," he said. "If that's possible, then that's a dream come true for me. Into any sport.
"I really want to go to Rio. I now want to challenge to be the absolute best at every international competition and many, many Olympics to come."
(Editing by Mark Meadows)
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