OLYMPIC hero Tom James has spoken of his pride at receiving his MBE from Prince Charles.
The former Chester King’s School rower, who struck gold for Great Britain in Beijing last year, was at Buckingham Palace last Friday to receive his award.
Tom, 25, said: “Prince Charles asked about what I was doing now and about training for London (Olympics) and wished me good luck for the Games in 2012.
“Obviously they do this sort of thing many times, but it is very professional and very organised. It’s something to be really proud of. The Royals get a lot of bad press but they do a lot of good things. It’s great to go there and be part of all that history.
“The Palace go to a lot of trouble to make sure the families enjoy the day as well.”
Tom, a member of the victorious men’s coxless fours crew in Beijing, was one of a host of athletes honoured for their part in Britain’s best performance at an Olympics Games since 1908.
Joining him on his special day in London were parents Mike and Julia, of Coedpoeth, Wrexham, and one of his sisters, Laura.
Injuries from Beijing have been sorted out and his next big challenge will be winning a place on the team for the 2012 London Olympics.
“Selection is performance based, no place is assured,” said Tom, who began his rowing career on the River Dee a decade ago and was captain of the King’s School Rowing Club’s eight in 2000.
Grosvenor Rowing Club’s veteran men’s squad maintained their fantastic form at the Northwich Autumn Head.
The squad powered to more glory on the wind and rain-lashed River Weaver 2,350m course.
Jeremy Lush, Tony Churchill, Stuart McCormick and Paul Larby were the comfortable vet C quad winners as Steve Walker, Ian Tweedie, John McMahon and Mike Allwood triumphed in the vet E quad.
Tweedie was not finished there, though, crossing the line in the vet D single sculls some 28 seconds faster than the second-placed finisher.
Grosvenor’s senior women’s IM1 coxed four, comprising Caroline Ealey, Laura Magee, Janet Vorberg and Emma Wells, also got in on the act, with their nail-biting one-second victory over Warrington Rowing Club coming in the crew’s very first race together.