Young diver Jack is Ripon’s Olympic hero

Ripon's Jack Laugher.
Ripon's Jack Laugher.

Ripon rallied behind the city’s own Olympic hopeful as he to took to the Aquatic Centre at the London Games.

Seventeen year old diver Jack Laugher, a pupil at Ripon Grammar, represented Team GB in the men’s 3m springboard competition on Monday, August 6.

Despite finishing 27th in the qualifying round and missing out on a place in the semi-finals, Jack said taking part in the Olympics was “the best experience of his life”.

Speaking to the Gazette, Jack’s father David Laugher said he was “extremely proud” of his teenage son’s achievements.

David said: “Jack is extremely happy that he has had the opportunity to attend the London 2012 Olympic Games.

“He is upset that he was not able to perform to his best ability during his competition and show everyone exactly how good he is. He has achieved a great deal over the last two years and has worked tirelessly to achieve peak fitness.”

At just 17, Jack was the youngest athlete in his competition.

David added: “Like many athletes who attended The Games, mistakes and injuries will have taken their toll leaving them unable to make their dreams come true.

“I cannot imagine the stress he was under as a 17-year-old on the board in front of 17,000, mainly Team GB fans, cheering ecstatically, with probably millions watching around the world and I suspect he was unable to find complete focus with nerves getting the better of him.

“ I would have been terrified,” he added.

Jack received messages of support from all over the world, and dozens of Ripon tweeters posted their support on the social networking site.

Duncan Gray, @Bigdunc50, wrote: “ Well done Jack. To get as far as you did is a massive achievement. We are all proud of you up here in Ripon. #Rio2016:-)”

Jack also took part in the opening ceremony and paraded with his GB team mates. After the celebrations he tweeted: “That was such a brilliant night, something I’ll never forget in a lifetime!”

Dad David said the family are looking to Jack’s next competitions:

“He is already looking forward and will be training hard to compete in the Diving Junior World competition in Australia in October with eyes firmly fixed on the Olympic Games in Rio in 2016 and the Commonwealth Games in 2014.

“We will continue to support him in every way we can as he continues to train as well as doing his A levels,” he added.