Family's 'incredible pride' at Richard Hounslow London 2012 silver medal
A family from Westbury-sub-Mendip have come back from London after proudly watching their son bring home silver for Team GB.
Richard Hounslow competed with his partner David Florence in the C2 double final on July 30 and narrowly missed out on a gold medal as his devoted family watched.
"The atmosphere was unreal," said Richard's sister Alice, 21. "We were guaranteed a medal, so the crowd were going absolutely crazy for them."
Richard almost gave up on his Olympic dream when he missed out at the selection in 2007 to compete at the Beijing games in 2008. But after a change in the rules allowing athletes to compete in more than one class, he formed a formidable partnership with teammate David Florence in doubles canoeing.
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Proud mum Anne Hounslow said that the day didn't have a great start, as Richard missed out on a place in his individual final after finishing 12th in the K1 kayak single semi-finals. But when the pair won their semi-final heat for the canoe slalom she could barely contain her excitement.
"I passed on picture-taking duties to other members of the family so that I could focus completely on Richard's performance."
The pair were last to compete and were hot on the heels of GB teammates Tim Baillie and Etienne Stott who set a time of 106.41 seconds, but couldn't quite catch them and crossed the line just 0.36 seconds later.
The pair was elated with their medal. "It's fantastic," said a delighted Richard Hounslow after the final. David Florence added: "We were just on the wrong side but to win an Olympic medal, we're certainly not disappointed."
Of the win, Anne said: "As a parent, words cannot describe the pleasure of his success. We're so incredibly proud of him."
When she spoke to Richard after the final, Anne said that he was overwhelmed with the support from the stands.
"The Olympics is the only time when that many people will be in the audience for the slalom. He said the support from the crowd really made it for him."
The family had front row seats to all of the events that Richard took part in at the Lee Valley White Water Centre on July 29 and 30, and said that the Olympics Committee took very good care of them while they were in London.
Richard moved out of the Olympic Park on Monday, and the family has said that he is unsure of his plans for the future.
There is a chance that he will go on to compete at the World Championships in 2015 and with Rio only being a year after that, fans may see more of the Olympian canoeist.