Family matters in pursuit of olympic defence

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Winning gold in front of his family would mean more to Paul Goodison than claiming his first Olympic title in Beijing four years ago.

Goodison, 34, went into the 2008 Olympics driven by the crushing disappointment he had endured in Athens, when he dropped out of the medal positions in the last race of the laser competition and finished fourth.

He delivered an emphatic reposte on the waters of Qingdao four years later, but now wants to repeat the success in front of his father, Roy.

Goodison said: “I’m probably more driven this time, not because of motivation, which when I need that I still look back to Athens and back to Beijing.

“But because my dad wasn’t there. My mum (Cynthia) was there in Beijing but I really feel my dad missed out on something amazing.

“This time there’ll be my mum, dad, brother, his little girl, his fiancee – everyone will be there watching me.

“And it will be amazing to have those who have been involved in the journey so close and right there with you. That’s what will make it so special.

“Another gold would mean just as much as the first one.

“The first time you win something you’ve never done before is obviously going to be super special, especially having come back from a broken wrist 10 months before Beijing, which was a hard thing to deal with.

“There’s been ups and downs along the way, the World Championships this month for instance, but anything other than gold will be a disappointment.

“I’ve proved to myself and others that I am capable of winning. You have to respect everybody out there and there’s five or six other guys who are determined to win and there’ll be two or three of us who will not be satisfied with anything other than gold.

“If you can look back and say I’ve done everything I could then you should be happy.”

As home favourite and defending champion, the pressure will be on Goodison to deliver, but that is something the man who learned to sail on Ulley Sailing Club in Rotherham, welcomes.

“It’s something you relish,” he said. “I try not to think about the pressure other people are putting on me, my pressure is very much internally. I want to do the best I can do, and that’s to win, and that’s the biggest pressure there is, getting the best out of yourself.

“There is added pressure with it being at home and there is a lot more media hype, but it’ll be fantastic having a home crowd cheering you on.”