First Olympic gold medal in 100 years for Isle of Man

  • Published

The Isle of Man is celebrating its first Olympic gold medal for 100 years.

Peter Kennaugh, 23, of Onchan, and three team-mates won the men's cycling team pursuit against Australia at the London Velodromeon Friday.

Crowds met him at Ronaldsway Airport as he returned home with his medal earlier.

Chief Minister Allan Bell said it was a "remarkable achievement" for such a small country to produce an Olympic champion.

The last time the island won a gold medal was in 1912, when Sulby-born Sidney Swann was part of the victorious British men's eights rowing team.

'Oustanding endeavours'

The President of Tynwald, Clare Christian, said the victory triggered an "explosion of pride and delight" across the island as people watched in pubs and homes.

Chief Minister Allan Bell MHK added: "Peter's gold medal-winning performance will help to raise further awareness of our island across the globe and act as an inspiration to future generations of sportsmen and women.

"As a nation, the Isle of Man works hard to create an environment that nurtures talent and allows our young people to flourish, and it is extremely satisfying to see them succeed at the very highest level."

Image caption,
Mark Cavendish missed out on an Olympic medal

Before the games, Mr Kennaugh had said the Olympics would not mean anything unless he "wins a gold medal".

He began his racing career at the age of six, taking part in BMX events in the Isle of Man.

Mrs Christian has already sent a message of support to Mark Cavendish on his performance in the Olympic road race earlier in the Games.

The British cycling team, including the hotly-tipped Mr Cavendish, of Douglas, missed out on an Olympic gold medal in the men's road race.