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Cycling mourns Tommy Godwin

By:
Cycling News
Published:
November 4, 2012, 09:42,
Updated:
November 4, 2012, 09:44
Edition:
First Edition Cycling News, Monday, November 5, 2012
Tommy Godwin realised his dream at the 1948 Olympic Games in London

Tommy Godwin realised his dream at the 1948 Olympic Games in London

  • Tommy Godwin realised his dream at the 1948 Olympic Games in London
  • Tommy Godwin with his collection of medals
  • The closing ceremony of the 1948 Olympics, which saw Tommy Godwin capture two bronze medals on the track
  • Tommy Godwin with the Team GB jersey he wore at the 1948 Olympics

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Double Olympic medallist dies aged 91

Tommy Godwin, a double Olympic medallist from the 1948 Games, has passed away aged 91.

The British rider lost the best years of his racing career to the Second World War but came back to win two bronze medals on the track at Herne Hill in the first post-war Games. His medals came in the team pursuit and the kilometre but he was involved with cycling throughout his life.

Godwin, who was born in America, devoted his life to cycling. From the age of 14, when he got his first bike to deliver groceries, right up to this summer, as an ambassador for the London 2012 Games.

Godwin moved back to England as America was hit by a huge recession. His parents found a home in the West Midlands. After quitting school at 14, he went on to labour in a factory where he worked for 6 months until he got a job delivering groceries in the front basket of a bike.

After his first race, Godwin’s love for cycling grew and was given a second hand SunWasp which that 27 and sixpence, about £1.75 in today's decimal money. Friends of his used to go on cycling weekends to North Wales but Godwin couldn’t due to work and therefore quit his job and found a new one working for the BSA – a big cycle firm.

He received his first racing bike, a gift from his father, shortly after that race. It was a Gameson with wooden wheels - a significant upgrade. In 1939 his reputation started to grow, and after winning a race in Birmingham he was invited to the Olympic trials.

During the war, Godwin was working 50-60 hours a week and had to ride all around the Midlands. It kept him very fit. On top of that, he raced a 25-mile time trial every Sunday morning before working the rest of the day.

After his career held a managerial position after his retirement from the sport, leading the British squad at the Tokyo Games in 1964.

Current British Cycling president, Brian Cookson led the tributes: "Tommy Godwin represented all that is great about our sport - a true gentleman who achieved great things as a competitor, a coach and an administrator."

Sir Chris Hoy added on Twitter account: "So sad to hear cycling legend and Olympic medallist from 1948, the great Tommy Godwin, has passed away."