An interview with Olympic Gold medallist, MBE recipient and former Chipping Campden School student, Matt Gotrel.
1) Last summer you were preparing for Rio. What was your training schedule like before you left for Brazil?
Our training programme is pretty relentless at the best of times, but before leaving for Rio we had a month of training camps abroad. Two weeks of altitude training in the Austrian Alps before another two weeks of warm weather training in the Italian lakes. It's all very focused and we have very little interaction with the outside world. We are in our bubble, training hard.2) Describe your experience of the race and winning a Gold Medal?
The perfect race! It was a day where everything came together perfectly. It was very surreal to be leading by as much as we were and watching the other boats battle it out behind us. Winning a Gold Medal is something that I only ever dreamed about, and the reality is still yet to set in.3) What did you do to celebrate?
Well, as you can imagine Rio threw us a pretty good party. I just spent time with friends and family, which was long overdue and the celebrations continued for a fair few months.4) What advice would you give to any of our students who aspire to be an Olympic competitor?
Just keep your head down and work hard. I try to be better tomorrow than I was today. You can't become a success overnight, but enjoy every day and you never know where you could end up.5) When you are in Chipping Campden, what do you enjoy doing?
Sitting in Huxley's and having a coffee with my mum and brother. I'm very lucky to have grown up here and love any opportunity to just relax and enjoy it.6) Congratulations on your MBE for services to sport. You recently travelled to Buckingham Palace to collect the award. What was that day like?
A very surreal day! When you're an athlete, being recognised in this way is never something you aim for. Winning medals, yes, but being able to take my family to Buckingham Palace was a huge honour and something I never expected. It dawned on me very quickly how huge the occasion was when I was surrounded by so many people who have done really extraordinary thing. I was humbled to even be in the same room as many of them.7) What's next?
I'm taking a break from the team for a year. I have upcoming shoulder surgery to get through before I will decide whether to try and get another medal in Tokyo or venture into the real world.For the full interview with Matt, please see p36 of The Campdonian 2017 https://community.campden.school/news/school-news/8/The-Campdonian-2017