George Peasgood: 'I feel like we did everyone at home proud'
- Credit: Archant
Double Paralympic medallist George Peasgood visited his former coaches and rivals on Sunday to thank them for supporting him throughout his career.
Peasgood, who took silver in the Tokyo 2020 men's PTS5-category paratriathlon at Tokyo 2020, began his Paralympic career with WaldenTRI in 2011.
The 25-year-old athlete returned to the club to award medals to the winners of WT21 - WaldenTRI's annual race - and share his experience with friends and fans.
Speaking to the Reporter, Peasgood said: "I really feel like we did everyone at home proud!
"I went out to Tokyo to just enjoy it, and that's all you could ever want from racing.
"Being back at WaldenTRI is all a bit surreal. The last few weeks have all been surreal trying to appreciate and understand everything that has happened."
Peasgood became a double Paralympic medallist in Japan, securing a bronze in the C4-category cycling road time trial just two days after medalling in the paratriathlon.
He came sixth in men's C4-5 road race on Friday, September 3.
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He returned to Saffron Walden in time for WT21 on Sunday morning.
Peasgood said: "I started off like any competitor did - training two hours on a weekend when my dad was in the supermarket.
"I didn't start taking it seriously until my coaches and parents decided to get me a Paralympic classification and into the British Tri programme in 2014 so that I could compete in Rio 2016.
"This year, I have had an injury since May time. That 5k run in Tokyo was the first time I've done a run of that length since I became injured.
"I didn't expect to medal until the week before, but really it doesn't matter if you're coming fourth, fifth, sixth - the important thing is that you're enjoying it."
Peasgood competed in the Rio 2016 Paralympic Games, coming seventh in the paratriathlon.
He competes in a category for people with impairments below the elbow or knee, as a result of an injury to his left leg and ankle when he was two years old.
He used swimming and cycling for rehabilitation during childhood.
WaldenTRI club secretary Elaine Bramley, who has coached the youth team since 2011, said Peasgood's silver-medal performance was one of the most important events in the club's 21-year history.
Elaine said: "I have watched George throughout his career and that's really special.
"And he continues to support the club - he's so friendly. He's a true sportsman.
"WaldenTRI, like many sports clubs, is a close-knit community.
"More than that, everyone of all abilities can get involved.
"The kids here learn how to exercise, they learn life skills - they learn to ride a bike safely or how to swim - and confidence which is something they won't lose going into their careers.
"But after Tokyo 2020? It's onwards and upwards from here!"