Nineteen-year-old Jonnie Peacock became the fastest amputee in the world with a record time of 10.90 seconds, taking the gold medal in the 100m at the 2012 London Paralympics.
The crowd of over 80,000 people cheered on the British athlete as he took his mark. He put his finger to his mouth to silence them, so he and fellow athletes could concentrate on the race. Just seconds later a new Paralympic champion was born, and the crowd went wild once again.
He says, “The British crowd has made the Games come alive; they are absolutely amazing. They were chanting my name before the race started and that was unreal.” However, he adds, “I enjoyed it, but when it’s business time, we’re professional athletes, and you’ve got to be quiet for the set. I thought, I need to quiet them down. I didn’t want to put anyone (the other finalists) off. If you have to tell them to be quiet, you have to tell them to be quiet.”
Around the 60 meter point Peacock says, “I started to think, ‘Oh crap, I’m winning!'”
He has stolen the title from Oscar Pistorius. Peacock says he is still coming to terms of the magnitude of his achievement. In good sportsmanship, Pistorius ran straight over to Peacock to congratulate him on his win.
“When the results came up on the board, I just gave Oscar a big hug, and he said to me, ‘I told you you’d do it,” Peacock beams. “I’ve got so much respect for him; he is such a legend in Paralympic sport.”
Peacock had spent so much time preparing for the Games that he says he didn’t even feel nervous. He says, “I felt so prepared. Everything I had done all year was leading up to last night.”
After all the excitement Peacock says, “I got three hours of sleep afterwards, and hopefully later I will have a bit of time to sit down and reflect on the race. I will go through how it went with my coach and have a sit down and a few beers.”