The image of Tom Dean’s family celebrating his Olympic gold medal in Tokyo was one of the enduring images of the entire Games.
The freestyle swimmer had a rollercoaster 2021, testing positive twice for Covid in the build-up to the Games but recovering to win the 200m freestyle ahead of teammate Duncan Scott in a thrilling final.
He followed that up with a gold medal in the 4x200m freestyle relay, alongside Scott, becoming the first male British swimmer to win multiple swimming gold medals at the same Games in 113 years.
His family and friends congregated in the back garden of the family home in Maidenhead to watch Dean in action in the middle of the night as he won that first gold medal, with the video going viral.
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2 May 2000
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Dean’s Covid bad luck extended to the 2021 World Short Course Championships, when a close contact forced him to withdraw during the meet. But the University of Bath student, who had to put mechanical engineering studies on hold for his swimming career, was available for the most important races of the year.
He was made an MBE in the 2022 New Year’s Honours and will now look to add Commonwealth medals to his collection having also won four European Championship gold medals since 2018.