Praise for Meldreth’s Olympic medal winning diver Dan Goodfellow but family frustrated at the national papers’ Tom Daley focus
- Credit: AP
Meldreth diver Dan Goodfellow has wowed and inspired the South Cambs community after winning an Olympic Games bronze medal at Rio 2016 on Monday – but some of the national newspapers have been a bit slow in recognising his achievements.
The 19-year-old diver and former Melbourn Village College student won his first Olympic medal alongside his 10m synchro partner Tom Daley, but many front pages only featured pictures of the latter.
Speaking about Dan’s success, Meldreth county councillor Susan van de Ven said: “I know everyone is very excited and proud. There has been a lot of anticipation leading up to the Olympics. There was already a lot of excitement about the success he had already achieved.
“The best thing the Olympics can do is inspire young people to do their best – to have that happen in our community is a huge treat.”
Dan’s mum Sharon was also cast into the spotlight after her son’s triumphant win, taking to Twitter to hightlight the lack of recognition given to him on the front pages of national newspapers like the Daily Mail – which seemed to focus on celebrity partner Tom Daley’s success, showing a picture of the TV star by himself.
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She tweeted the Telegraph about their front page, saying: “I am very surprised by this photo. Is it for real?”. Later that night she tweeted: “Just done my first bit of media bashing. How insensitive! I hope they sort before morning.”
On Tuesday, Sharon then tweeted: “Thank you for all the messages. I have still hundreds to go through. Looks like there will be lots in papers today!” She went on ITV’s This Morning to say Dan was happy to stay in the background and didn’t mind the lack of media coverage.
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Despite his success, Dan is still as humble as they come, and in May this year, while visiting friends in Cambridgeshire, he popped into Melbourn Village College to catch up with PE teacher Kelly Coghlan – his form tutor and mentor when he went to the college between 2008 and 2013.
She played a key role in helping him balance his school and diving commitments, before he moved to Plymouth. At the time of the visit, Dan said: “Mrs Coghlan helped me a lot with combining my training and school work by communicating with my teachers, coach and mum. She made it possible for me to train and compete during school time as well as doing enough work to gain good GCSE grades.”
In 2013, Dan won gold at the European Junior Diving Championships and bronze at the British Diving Championships.
South Cambs MP Heidi Allen said: “What an incredible result for Dan! Achieving Olympic success at such a young age must make him feel on top of the world. Congratulations Dan, you’ve made South Cambridgeshire and your country very proud.”