Cycling hero Jason Kenny sprints to third title
8:54am Tuesday 7th August 2012 in News
BOLTON Olympic hero Jason Kenny has been hailed “inspirational” after he stormed to his third gold medal.
The 24-year-old cyclist beat his arch-rival, Gregory Bauge of France, to win gold in the men’s sprint yesterday.
It comes days after he won the team sprint with Sir Chris Hoy and Philip Hindes, and it is his third gold having won the team sprint at the Beijing 2008 Games.
Proud dad, Michael, watched his son sprint to glory in the velodrome. He said: “It is just fantastic. We are absolutely over the moon.”
And Sean Harriss, Bolton Council chief executive, said there would be “public recognition” for the Farnworth cycling superstar.
He said: “We are going to ensure the council and the people of Bolton will have the opportunity to thank Jason and recognise his achievements, and we will work with him to find the best way to do this.”
He added: “As a cycling fan, I realise that not only has he won an Olympic medal, but he has beaten a fantastic opponent, which magnifies how great the achievement is.
“It means so much for cycling and sport in Bolton.
“The motto of the Olympic Games is inspire a generation, and the fact that Jason is from Bolton I hope will help inspire the children and adults of the town to take up sports.”
This sentiment was echoed by Paul Roach, headteacher at Jason’s former school, Mount St Joseph, who said: “It is an absolutely fantastic achievement and I am sure it will be an inspiration for future generations.
“After the Beijing Games, he came back into the school and the students had the chance to meet him face to face and they were very inspired by him. He is a great role model and it is great for them to see a local lad achieve at the highest level.
“Jason is a quiet lad, he is an unassuming chap, but he has confidence in his own abilities and he has talent. We are all talented in something but it really comes down to commitment and hard work and that is the inspiration here.”
The Vicar of Bolton, the Rev Matt Thompson, said: “Jason is a huge inspiration for the people of Bolton and I am sure there will be some kind of recognition for him in Bolton.
“He deserves anything and everything because this is a magnificent achievement.
“Hopefully, this will inspire youngsters to get involved in sport.”
Rachel Burke, sports development manager at Bolton Lads and Girls Club and organiser of the Bolton Games, said it was a “wonderful achievement”.
“He is a top man and on behalf of all the kids at the Bolton Games and the Bolton Lads and Girls Club, well done,” she said.
“I think he is already inspiring people in Bolton. I have never seen so many kids out on their bikes and families going out and about.
“Cycling is on the up in Bolton and it would be so good if someone inspired by Jason came to the Bolton Games and then in four years time we had one of our own youngsters at the Olympics.”
The Royal Mail painted a postbox in Churchgate gold last week to celebrate Jason’s first gold medal.
A second postbox is expected to be painted gold today to recognise Jason’s achievement and stamps will be printed in his honour.