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Gold for Fearless Foxy

Jonathan Fox
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11:45am 31st August 2012
(Updated 11:45am 31st August 2012)

A Cornishman has got GB's first swimming gold of the Paralympics.

Jonathan Fox from St Stephen broke a world record in the heats, then won the men's hundred metres backstroke S7.

That is even though he admits his legs began to give up towards the end.

Pirate FM has learnt he prepares by solving a Rubik's cube, and he can do that in ninety seconds, marginally longer than the seventy seconds it took him to race to a medal.

The swimmer who has cerebral palsy said: "At the turn for 50 I was feeling good but by about 75 my legs blew up,” he said. “There’s always that thing in your mind when you see someone in lane five snipping back at you and you’re dying inside, and you just want to finish. I stuck it through and hit the wall first.

“It comes around every four years and you just want to stop time for a second and feel the atmosphere.”

He has another chance to pick up a medal in the 400m Freestyle next Thurday. The omens are good; he is already the world record holder: “I’ve got more races but that’s a good start. My next main event is the 400 and I want to do my best in that because it’s going to be tough, with new rivals popping up. You never know who’s around the corner.”

A postbox on Fore Street in St Stephen is being painted gold in his honour. It will be the third to be turned gold in the Duchy, and joins the ones in Penzance for Helen Glover and in Restronguet for Ben Ainslie.

Jonathan FoxThe Royal Mail is also releasing a stamp to mark Jon's achievement.

A spokesperson said: "The stamps will be on sale in around 500 dedicated Post Offices across the UK on Saturday and at a further 4,700 branches thereafter.

"The gold medal stamps will be presented for purchase as a sheet of two First Class stamps for £1.20. The sheet carries additional information on the winning athlete or athletes."

We will be able to buy them from Truro's Crown Post Office from Saturday and online here. They will arrive at another 4,700 Post Offices over the next week.

Fearless Foxy's former teacher Russell Lawrance is in charge of sport at Cornwall College. He told Pirate FM: "He has his feet on the ground, a very unassuming young man. He got the offer while he was with us to go and become a professional athlete but he still committed to finish his qualification and I think that speaks volumes about him. Is it a surprise? Absolutely not.

"He went to Beijing really, I think, fresh faced and since then he's worked it out: 'London 2012, this is my time.'"

GB has got seven medals after day one.

On Friday Cornwall has got athletes in the swimming, volleyball and table tennis.


Jonathan Fox

11:45am 31st August 2012

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