A chicken korma will be Bath Olympian James Guy’s homecoming reward for his Tokyo successes, according to his dad.
Guy, 25, has enjoyed a sensational Games in Tokyo, securing gold in the 4×200 metres men’s freestyle and the 4x100m mixed medley relay.
Guy and his family moved from Altrincham to Somerset when he gained a scholarship at Millfield School in Street.
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His dad already knows what his son will want to do first when he lands at Heathrow Airport on Monday evening (August 2).
He said: “The first thing he’ll do when we pick him up is say ‘Dad, I need a curry.’”
“He only ever has one curry – chicken korma. And it’s not even really curry is it? That’s all he ever has. Rice, and two chapatis, that’s it. He likes good food, he likes Chinese, he’ll put a bit of weight on but do you know what? He’s entitled to it.”
Andrew has stayed awake through the night to watch his son in action over the last few days, watching the mixed medley relay success at their home with the family.
He said: “It’s an unbelievable feeling. I’m shattered, as is all the family, they have all gone back to bed.
“How often does it come along that your son is a double Olympic champion and world record holder?”
Andrew noted that Guy’s road to Tokyo 2020 was far from smooth sailing, and there were moments when he considered quitting the sport.
Andrew said: “After a couple of years he was struggling and he said ‘Dad, I’m going to pack it in. Everybody’s beating me’ – and they were. It was purely because he hadn’t grown, so he went through a bit of pain for two to three years where he was crying at most meets.
“We were supporting him as a family, and then at about 14 or 15 he started to grow, and at 16 he was the fastest in the world for his age.
“At 19 he became world champion and raced his heroes – Michael Phelps, Ryan Lochte, Conor Dwyer – these people he had pictures on the wall of, he raced them and beat them.”
Andrew said two silver medals at the 2016 Games in Rio taught Guy about the importance of mental strength, and how athletes raise their game for the “special occasion” of the Olympics.
Guy was also reinvigorated by a change of coach in 2019 to Dave McNulty in Bath, where he went to university.
Asked to sum up his son, Andrew said: “He’s the boy from next door, dead normal. If you sat with him he would never tell you he was a swimmer, he’d never tell you what he’d won.
“He’s quite sensitive, not over-confident, but if you employed him he would give 100 per cent every day.”
Guy’s sensitive side came to the fore as he shed tears after the 4x200m freestyle gold, and his father said: “That cry was the anticipation of winning the pinnacle medal in his career.
“He’s a four-time world champion, and won Commonwealth and European medals, what he wanted was the Olympic gold, more than anybody. James let out the emotion and saw how sensitive he was. He stands on the blocks and he becomes a warrior again.”
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