‘He might kill me!’: Proud dad of Brit gold medallist shares childhood snap of him as amateur swimmer

·Senior news reporter, Yahoo News UK
·2 min read

Watch: 'Incredible, incredible feeling' – Matt Richards on gold medal

The father of Olympic gold medallist Matt Richards has risked the wrath of his son after sharing a snap of him as a young swimmer – but said “it had to be done”.

Simon Richards joked Matt Richards “might kill me” after he posted the throwback picture alongside a new one of his son holding his Tokyo Games gold medal.

Richards was part of Team GB’s men’s 4x200m freestyle relay-winning team on Wednesday.

The 18-year-old, who was third of the four, helped Britain into a one-second lead before team-mate Duncan Scott’s final leg secured the gold.

Richards said following the medal ceremony: “It’s an honour to have this hanging round my neck.

“Forever now, this will be something that I can say I was part of and it will be something I can tell my kids and hopefully my grandkids about one day.”

TOKYO, JAPAN - JULY 28: Gold Medalists Tom Dean, James Guy, Matthew Richards, Duncan Scott of Team Great Britain during the medals ceremony of the 4x200m Freestyle Relay on day five of the swimming competition of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games at Tokyo Aquatics Centre on July 28, 2021 in Tokyo, Japan. (Photo by Jean Catuffe/Getty Images)
Gold medallist swimmers Duncan Scott, Matt Richards, James Guy and Tom Dean after winning the men's 4x200m freestyle relay. (Getty Images)
Matthew Richards during the kitting out session for the Tokyo Olympics 2020 at the Birmingham NEC, UK. Picture date: Wednesday June 16, 2021.
Matt Richards during Team GB's kitting out session last month for the Tokyo Games. (PA)

He added he was already looking to Paris 2024: “I’ve got some big goals, I’ve got a lot of things that I want to achieve in my swimming career and as far as I’m concerned this is just the very beginning.”

In an interview with the BBC posted on Thursday, Richards said of his parents: “I know what they’re like, I’ve seen the photos of the front of the house where they’ve got loads of bunting and flags up.

“Their support is just unparalleled as far as I’m concerned. I dread to think what they’ll be planning [to celebrate] but I just can’t wait to get home and give them a big hug.”

Richards' parents, speaking in the wake of their son's gold medal win on Wednesday, told the BBC how he had been unable to train during coronavirus lockdowns, prompting them to buy a 3x5m overground pool for him to use in their back garden in Bath.

"We attached some bungee cords to the garage wall and he was in there swimming hour after hour in his wetsuit... keeping a feel for the water," his father said.

Watch: How To Raise An Olympian: Mark Hunter

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