Olympic hero’s gran urges him to keep medal safe

Callum Skinner. Picture; Getty
Callum Skinner. Picture; Getty
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Olympic cycling hero Callum Skinner’s grandmother has urged him not to send her his previous medals in the post.

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The Scot, 23, claimed a silver medal in the individual sprint in Rio on Sunday night to add to his gold in the team event.

His “Granny”, Pamela Crichton, revealed she keeps all his medals and winning jerseys on display in her home.

But she said he usually sends them in a padded envelope.

Pamela, 82, who lives in Monifeith in Angus, said today/yesterday [MON]: “Callum normally sends me his medals through the post. He just puts them in a padded envelope, with his jersey and his number.

“I get them and look after them, otherwise he would just shove them in a drawer and forget about them.

“I have about ten on show upstairs, but I think the Olympic medals are too valuable to send in the post.

“I would love to see his medals but I would be in terror of them not arriving in the post.

“Hopefully he will get a chance to visit and show me in person.”

Pamela said she was “absolutely bursting with pride” at her grandson, whose achievements in Rio have made him a household name back home.

She added: “I go to competitions when I can. I saw him in March when I was in London for the World Championships, but there’s no way I could go to Rio, so I’ve been shouting at the television.

“I get out of my seat and get very excited about it all, shouting ‘go Callum, go Callum’.

“I get very emotional. I hoped that one day he would do it but a gold medal followed by a silver, my goodness me, it’s really just awesome what he has achieved.”

Skinner took up racing after being inspired by the feats of Sir Chris Hoy at the Athens Olympics in 2004. And he has now joined his hero among Scotland’s gold-medal winning Olympians.

Pamela, whose daughter Judith was in the crowd watching her son, admitted she still gets nervous watching him race however.

She revealed she witnessed his fall during the opening of the Sir Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow in 2012.

The sprint cyclist suffered a fractured collarbone in the Scottish Track Championships, and Pamela said the image of him unconscious on the track had remained with her ever since.

She said: “I’ve watched Callum cycling since he was a little boy visiting with his family. They always arrived with bikes and Callum would be out there fleeing about the streets.

“I’d say ‘take care’, but off he would go at great speed.

“But the first accident he had was at the opening of the Chris Hoy Velodrome in Glasgow and I was there when he had his fall.

“They were up in the top corner and suddenly Callum’s back wheel burst and he came crashing down. he was out unconscious and that was him with a broken collarbone.

“He had to be carted off and operated on.

“They had him back on the bike within days but it’s always in the back of my mind.

“Tomorrow, he’s cycling in the Keirin which is a pretty dangerous race. I want him to be safe, but I also want him to be speedy and win.

“I spoke to him a few weeks ago and told him I was all up tight about Rio but he just said ‘it’ll be fine Granny, it’ll be fine’.

“I’m a bag of nerves here, but it’s what he wants to do and he’s very good at it -- he’s an Olympic champ. I’m absolutely bursting with pride.”