Olympians in line to receive Freedom of the Borough honour

Photo: Simone Castrovillari


Olympians from the Royal Borough are in line for a Freedom of the Borough honour, with council leader Andrew Johnson set to recommend them for it as a mark of the council’s ‘admiration for their success’.

Athletes from the borough, and Maidenhead in particular, have had a hugely successful Olympic Games so far, with Tom Dean winning two gold medals in the 200m freestyle and 4x200m freestyle swimming relay, and Jack Beaumont claiming silver in the men’s quadruple sculls rowing.

Moe Sbihi completed the set for the town last week, winning a bronze medal in the men’s eight rowing event, to add to the gold medal he won with the men’s four in Rio in 2016.

Elsewhere in the borough, Windsor’s Mallory Franklin produced a sensational final run to claim silver in the women’s C1 canoe slalom on Thursday, while other athletes from the area have represented their country with distinction.

Cookham’s Helen Glover and partner Polly Swann finished just outside of the medal places in fourth in the women’s pair, one of several Team GB rowing crews to narrowly miss out on a podium place. Glover was the first GB rower to be selected for the Olympics after having children.

Reflecting on the athletes’ success in a tweet this week, council leader Andrew Johnson said: “Very pleased to be able to announce that in recognition of the fantastic achievements by our medal winning Olympians, I will be recommending to the Royal Borough of Windsor and Maidenhead (RBWM) council that they be granted Freedom of the Royal Borough as a mark of our admiration for their success.

“They have made us very proud.

“Just to add that this will also include all of those who have taken part in the Olympics from the Royal Borough or were due to take part but were prevented from doing so due to issues relating to COVID.”

A motion will have to be put forward and voted on at a full council meeting. The Freedom of the Borough is the highest award that RBWM can give to individual or corporate body.

The award recognises those who have made a "significant contribution to the locality or have achieved something outstanding", according to the local authority.

Several borough athletes were impacted by the coronavirus pandemic in the run up to the Olympics.

Windsor’s Amber Hill was left ‘heartbroken’ after a positive COVID-19 test ended her Olympic dream just before she flew out to Japan. The women’s skeet shooter was a medal hopeful having set a new world record during qualifying for the event.

Windsor, Slough, Eton & Hounslow AC’s (WSEH) 400m hurdler Jessie Knight was also forced to isolate on arrival in Japan after being deemed a close contact of someone who tested positive for COVID on the flight over. With her final training days heavily restricted she wasn't able to come through her heat, falling at the first hurdle.

Others to compete include British champion, and fellow WSEH AC athlete, Taylor Campbell, who failed to make it through to the final of the men's hammer throw.

Great Britain’s women’s hockey team have though progressed to the Olympic semi-finals after beating Spain 2-0 on penalties this afternoon (Monday). The team includes Maidenhead residents Shona McCallin, Ellie Rayer, Giselle Ansley, Hannah Martin and Maddie Hinch. The game finished 2-2 after normal time with Martin on the scoresheet for GB.

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