In an exclusive photoshoot and interview with HELLO!, returning Olympic champion Tom Dean has told the magazine it's his mum, Jacquie Hughes, who deserves gold.
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"I couldn't have done it without her, so to be able to share some of that success with my mum and my family is all I could ever want. These are their gold medals as much as they are mine," says the Team GB swimmer, who reigned supreme in the 200m freestyle and in the 4x200m relay alongside teammates Matt Richards, James Guy and Duncan Scott, when he invites HELLO! to join him as he brings his two gold medals back home to his proud family.
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Joined by mum Jacquie and his siblings: Connie, 22, Nancy, 19, Alfie, 18 and William, 16, for HELLO!'s exclusive photoshoot at their Maidenhead home, the 21-year-old added: "I owe a massive debt of gratitude to my mum. I was a lazy teenager and she got me up early on those dark winter mornings when it was the last thing I wanted to do."
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Tom is more than happy to share the limelight with Jacquie – whose passionate dedication to her five children is made all the more admirable by the fact she has been a single mum for the last eight years.
"My mum needs an agent more than I do!" laughed Tom
"I think my mum needs an agent more than I do!" laughed Tom, while a somewhat sheepish Jacquie added with a laugh: "I did apologise to Tom and said: 'I hope you don't think we're stealing your thunder.'"
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Jacquie is bursting with pride, and finally having Tom back in the family fold is the icing on the cake. "The Olympic athletes have been the property of everyone else for a while, so to have Tom back, not as Tom Dean the athlete, just Tom, who can relax and eat and sleep when he wants; that is really precious," she said.
Tom reigned supreme in the 200m freestyle and in the 4x200m relay
Of his girlfriend Catherine Ross, Tom said: "She's been amazing. It's not easy when I haven't been able to be with her for a lot of events because of training, early mornings and recovery."
After some well-deserved time off, Tom revealed he will be diving straight back into the pool. "I have my sights set on Paris 2024," he said. "As soon as I walked into the Olympic Village, I knew I wanted to do it all over again. I'm going to put in the hard work that I know it takes."
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