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Think outside the box for golden tribute to Olympic champion
OXFORD may not be getting a golden postbox to honour the city’s one and only London 2012 Olympic champion.
But a dazzling idea has been put forward for an alternative celebration of rower Andy Triggs Hodge’s success.
City council leader Bob Price wants paint another object – a lamppost or piece of sport equipment – to commemorate the triumph.
And on Thursday he had a meeting to discuss the idea of a golden tribute with other councillors – saying the favourite idea was to paint some equipment gold at the outdoor gym in Court Place Farm, Marston.
Other ideas suggested included painting a lamppost or a bench within the city.
He said: “This new notion is great, it would be nice to have something linked to him.
“The idea is to find something we can do specifically for him and which the city can celebrate.”
He added: “We really like the idea of asking Adidas, which runs the gym, to paint some equipment gold and having our local Olympic medallist to open it.”
And he said the council would do “everything it could” to see Mr Triggs Hodge honoured in some way.
Cllr Price said: “This is definitely an idea we’ll seriously look at. Our main focus until we heard about this was to focus solely on sporting legacy.
“We are running taster sessions for young people and making sure people have access to sport.”
The Oxford Mail reported last week that East Oxford resident Andy Triggs Hodge, who won a gold medal in the men’s rowing fours last month, wanted a golden postbox at the end of his road.
Royal Mail has painted a postbox in honour of each gold medallist but as the 33-year-old grew up in Yorkshire, one has instead been painted in Hebden, near Skipton.
Last week, he told the Oxford Mail: “I know lots of people who have had two.
“I like the idea of getting the postbox at the end of my street, on Cowley Road, painted gold. That could be my postbox then.”
But Royal Mail spokesman Sally Hopkins last night confirmed it was now concentrating on Paralympic athletes and would not be painting any postboxes in Oxford.
She said: “We have painted one in Yorkshire and we are now painting postboxes for our gold medallists at the Paralympics. We do not generally paint two postboxes and so that is where we are at.”
Mr Triggs Hodge has lived in East Oxford for the past decade after completing his masters degree at St Catherine’s College. He now has a gold medal from both Beijing and Oxford and is currently planning a long-overdue honeymoon with his wife Eeke, a surgeon at the John Radcliffe Hospital , in October.
Oxford legend Roger Bannister, who broke the four- minute mile in the city, and lord mayor Alan Armitage also leant their support.
Mr Triggs Hodge, who has met Mr Price to discuss the idea, said: “That’s fantastic, it’s awesome news.
“It all helps to show that athletes are normal people from normal places and the more kids realise that, and that they are able to reach their potential, the better.”
l What would you like to see painted gold in the city? Call our newsdesk on 01865 425 500 or email your suggestions to firstname.lastname@example.org
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