Molesey Boat Club captain Andrew Triggs Hodge has offered his gold medal on Super Saturday as inspiration to wannabe Olympians to get out of their armchairs and get into a boat.
Triggs Hodge triumphed in the men’s four at Eton Dorney on Saturday on a historic day for British sport that saw Team GB collect six London 2012 golds in rowing, cycling and athletics.
The 33-year-old revealed the win had been part of his masterplan since taking over the Molesey club captaincy four years ago and then introducing controversial changes at the Barge Walk club in
Popular junior coach Dickon Poole was moved aside two years ago as the club’s junior and senior structure was overhauled to adopt a training programme more akin to GB Rowing.
But Triggs Hodge reckoned his gold – plus bronze medals for Greg Searle, Moe Sbihi and James Foad in the men’s eight and George Nash in the men’s pairs – was just the tip of the iceberg when it
comes to the Elmbridge club winning more medals for years to come.
He said: “It has always been my goal to bring Molesey together.
“We engineered a rowing structure with more coaches and sponsorship and an ethos of support and teamwork that has led to this gold medal.
"Everything I do at the club is inspired by what I can do at this level and my dream has been to produce a foundation for more guys to come through in the sport and help the next generation achieve
“I am very proud of all the guys. They have all fought incredibly hard.
“There are some really strong athletes coming through and I am really proud to be a small part of that.
“I am all about inspiring young guys to get out of the armchair and get into the sport because there is so much to life.”
The men’s four – including Alex Gregory, Pete Reed and Molesey’s Tom James – crossed the line in six minutes, 3.97 seconds, to make it three successive Olympic men’s four titles for Team GB in
front of a partisan crowd and millions around the world watching on TV.
Triggs Hodge said: “Coming up to the finishing line was utterly terrifying. In Beijing we were very removed from what was happening back home, but here it is all around you.
“The crowd give you a lot of belief and a lot of confidence, but ultimately it put you closer to the cliff edge that this could be great or this could be a disaster.
“Even in the race there is part of you that is waiting for it to go wrong.
“It took an enormous amount of guts, an enormous amount of belief and a lot of sacrifice from our lives. But it is a huge honour to be able to sit here as Olympic champion and to do it in front of
your home crowd is indescribable. I cannot put it into words.”
Olympic bronze medallist Nash, who triumphed in the men’s pair on Friday, was in the crowd to cheer on skipper Triggs Hodge.
He said: “I should think Hodgey is elated, on top of the world and off his tiny face on endorphins.
“Molesey Boat Club have a great club spirit and Hodgey leads from the front in a really inspirational way.”