‘Athlete I admire’ - Jack Beaumont
The athlete I most admired in Rio was Jack Beaumont, the bowman of the GB men’s quadruple sculls.
Jack, 22 years of age, began the season in the worst shape after experiencing a terrible accident in a training camp in Portugal August last year. The accident occurred when another rowing boat collided with Jack’s double on the water, the bows crashing into Jack’s back and incidentally knocking the bow ball off, puncturing the skin and shattering his vertebrae. It was an extremely severe accident that left Jack questioning his ability to ever walk again. Jack spent two weeks in the hospital and weeks afterwards resting up with limited movement. He then missed out on competing at the upcoming World Championships in Aiguebelette, France.
After months of patience, frustration, and careful rehab, Jack was able to walk, lift, erg, and eventually row again. He was originally selected as a the spare for Rio, however when a member of the men’s quad fell ill just days before the start of the games, Jack was called up and flown straight out to fill the seat. He slotted in amazingly well to the quad, and they cruised their way into the A finals at the games, finishing 5th overall.
Jack is the athlete that I most admired in Rio, purely due to his incredible patience to rehab so thoroughly and get back to full fitness from such a horrific injury. His shear determination to not give up on his dream of making the Rio Olympics was inspirational.