Chariots of Fire inspired Tewin's Tom to Olympic medal

PUBLISHED: 16:36 20 August 2008 | UPDATED: 22:18 26 October 2009

Caversham, Great Britain, Tom STALLARD, GB Rowing media day at the Redgrave Pinsent Rowing Lake. GB Rowing Training centre. Tue. 29.04.2008  [Mandatory Credit. Peter Spurrier/Intersport Images]

Caversham, Great Britain, Tom STALLARD, GB Rowing media day at the Redgrave Pinsent Rowing Lake. GB Rowing Training centre. Tue. 29.04.2008 [Mandatory Credit. Peter Spurrier/Intersport Images]

FOLLOWING in the footsteps of a relative s Olympic medal-winning feat is always going to be a tough act to follow.

Especially when it is immortalised in Oscar-winning movie Chariots of Fire. But that s exactly what Tewin rower Tom Stallard has done, after

Shunyi, CHINA. GBR M8+,  Men's eights final,  Silver  medalist at the 2008 Olympic Regatta, Shunyi Rowing Course.  Sun 17.08.2008.  [Mandatory Credit: Peter SPURRIER, Intersport Images

FOLLOWING in the footsteps of a relative's Olympic medal-winning feat is always going to be a tough act to follow.

Especially when it is immortalised in Oscar-winning movie Chariots of Fire.

But that's exactly what Tewin rower Tom Stallard has done, after scooping silver medal glory in Beijing.

The 29-year-old was part of the men's eight crew that finished second in Sunday's thrilling final.

They just missed out on catching the Canadian crew, but held off the charge of the American boat, which took bronze.

Watching in the stands were Tom's parents, Matthew and Noelle, and 27-year-old brother Max.

And Noelle, talking exclusively to the WHT from the Great Wall of China yesterday, spoke of the family's rich Olympic heritage.

Tom's great-great-uncle, Henry Stallard, won bronze in the 1,500 metres at the Paris Olympics in 1924.

The efforts of the British athletes in those Games were the subject of 1981 movie Chariots of Fire, with Henry being played by Daniel Gerroll.

Noelle said: "Tom saw the film as a small boy, and said that one day he was going to do that.

"Well, he's gone one better and got silver!"

She said the family were "incredibly proud" of Tom's heroics.

"Gold would have been absolutely wonderful, but to get silver and beat the Americans was awesome.

"We managed to run over and see Tom immediately after the race and before they got their medals.

"I managed to give him a quick hug and I burst into tears.

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