Those of you who have been on one of Tom’s tours will know all about the Cotswolds Olimpicks – an ancient annual sporting event that takes place on Dover’s Hill each May, which includes some rather bizarre competitions including the infamous World Shin-kicking Championships!
I’m also sure it hasn’t escaped your notice that, as I write, we’re smack dab in the middle of the Rio 2016 Olympic Games – a rather more formal affair with its mostly traditional athletic sports and team games. I was also going to say that the ‘real’ Olympics is probably much less painful than the Cotswolds version, but there have been a few crashes in the road cycling events, and as for poor Samir Ait Said, the French gymnast…(If you don’t know who I’m talking about, look him up on YouTube at your peril!)
Anyway, neatly linking the Cotswolds with the Rio Games, tomorrow we will be cheering on a Cotswolds Olympian who grew up in Chipping Campden – a wonderful little Cotswolds town we visit on our tours, and where the Cotswolds Olimpicks after-party takes place!
Rower Matt Gotrel grew up in Chipping Campden, but perhaps finding the little brook that runs through the village not quite satisfactory, he learned his art at Loughborough University, one of the best universities in the UK for sports development. As part of Team GB’s Men’s Eight, Matt has won Gold medals at the World Championships twice in a row, and got the 2016 season off to a great start with a Bronze medal in the European Championships. Now, after sailing through their heats (pardon the pun!), he’s going for Olympic Gold tomorrow afternoon.
Hopefully winning medals is catching – Team GB rowers racked up two Olympic Golds medals today in the Women’s Coxless Pairs and the Men’s Fours, which included Matt’s fellow Cotswoldian Alex Gregory from Broadway. At the time of writing, our medal tally stands at 18 medals with 6 of each colour. Go team GB!
If you happen to be in Chipping Campden tomorrow afternoon, some of the local pubs will be showing Gotrel’s event on their TV screens – the atmosphere is sure to be electric! Good luck Matt from all at Go Cotswolds!