The gran of Olympic hero Adam Peaty said today (Mon) she was “the proudest nan in Britain” as she celebrated his gold medal glory with a tea party with pals.
Delighted Mavis Williams, 74, watched alone from her bungalow in the early hours as her 21-year-old grandson brought home Team GB’s first gold of Rio 2016.
Peaty smashed the world record twice on his way to becoming the first British man to win a medal in the pool since Adrian Moorhouse 28 years ago.
Mavis – who has become an online sensation and gained thousands of followers with the hashtag #OlympicNan trending on Twitter – said she went “ballistic” as her grandson took gold in the Men’s 100m breaststroke.
But she almost missed his record-breaking moment – after she fell asleep on the sofa at her home in Uttoxeter, Staffs., moments before the race was due to start.
Today (Mon) the OAP celebrated with around 20 friends and neighbours as they enjoyed tea, Victoria sponge cake and flapjacks on the green outside her home.
The quiet cul-de-sac was also decked with Union Jack bunting hanging from homes and lampposts as residents across Peaty’s home town showed their support.
The gran-of-12 said: “I went ballistic when he won. I am absolutely bursting with pride.
“I can’t describe how I feel but I’m on such a high right now even though I haven’t slept.
“I was excited and very pleased for him because he’s worked so hard for it and I knew in my gut he would do it.
“I must be the proudest nan in Britain. But I’m still shocked and completely overwhelmed.
“We decided to have a party whether he won or not as we wanted to celebrate his achievements for just getting to Rio.
“But getting the gold was the icing on the cake – this is his ultimate achievement and something he has been after his entire life.
“He’s worked so hard for this gold medal and he deserves it and I’m glad he got what he wanted.
“I can’t really explain my feelings right now. I’m just so proud of him.”
And Mavis revealed she almost nodded off moments before Adam romped home to Olympic glory with an astonishing time of 57.13 sec.
She added: “I didn’t see the bit before the race because I was falling asleep, but I saw him come up from the water.
“As it started, my stomach turned as it always does, but once he’d got going I knew he would do it.
“It was exciting from the word go, I just had my hands in front of my eyes until he was off the block.
“Once he’d started I saw his determination was there and he wasn’t going to let it slip away.
“When the line came across the TV and I saw he was leading, you could see he was going to do it.
“I was shouting and screaming at the TV – but I don’t think the neighbours minded too much.
“When he won I just shouted ‘He’s done it’.
“I’ve seen him on the European and Commonwealth podiums, but to see him there on that podium with the Union Jack and everyone sings God Saves The Queen – that’s when it hits you.
“I had a lie down at about 4am but I didn’t sleep.
“He’s got all four medals now and I don’t think there’s many people who have got that in our time.
“I’m not only proud of him but also for the upcoming swimmers because he’s inspired so many people.
“To get two world records and a gold medal is an amazing achievement.”
— BBC Get Inspired (@bbcgetinspired) August 8, 2016
Mavis now has over 5,000 followers on Twitter and has received tweets from fans all over the world after calling herself #OlympicNan.
She added: “It’s been nice having the attention on Twitter.
“There’s that many tweets that I’ve got to go through but I love it.
“When my daughter knew I was on Twitter she said ‘What are you like lol’.
“I only found out that means ‘laugh out loud’ a few months ago.”
Mavis also said Adam wasn’t always so fond of the pool and was terrified of the water as a young child and wouldn’t even get in the BATH.
The mum-of-three added: “He hated the water, he wouldn’t go in the water at all.
“He wouldn’t get in the bath and he used to scream blue murder for Caroline (Adam’s mum).
“Caroline used to take him swimming and he used to scream the place down.
“Eventually a friend took him and managed to get him in when he was about four and it went from there.
“He joined Dove Valley swimming club and he did well. I can remember going to watch him and that’s when I got hooked and I am still hooked.”
Mavis said she also nearly missed out on her grandson’s world record heat on Saturday (6/8) because she got confused with the red button on her TV remote.
Luckily, she managed to quickly switch on her iPad and Google ‘Olympic swimming’ meaning she was able to watch her storm to victory.
The retired factory worker added: “I watched the heat with the world record on the tele but then later I had a problem with the red button.
“Tears were just streaming down my face and then suddenly I thought of my iPad and I googled ‘Olympic swimming’ and got it up just in time to watch the semi-final on that.”
Widowed Mavis has travelled across the UK watching Adam win gold including at the Commonwealth Games in Glasgow in 2014 and the European Championships in London this year.
But she hasn’t travelled to Rio because she needs a wheelchair if she has to walk long distances and “didn’t want to be a burden” on her daughter Caroline.
Mavis, who has no kneecaps and suffers from arthritis, said she has a drop of whisky and cups of coffee in order to keep her awake watching Adam in Rio.
Adam’s sister Bethany Peaty, 23, who also celebrated with the family yesterday added: “I’m absolutely overwhelmed and I’m still in shock to be honest.
“It just doesn’t seem real.
“I spoke to Adam a few hours after he won for a few minutes.
“He was buzzing. It was a short conversation because he wants to rest and sleep.
“My mum, dad and Adam’s girlfriend are all there so I’m sure they’ll be celebrating today.
“#OlympicNan is trending on Twitter which I find surreal.
“Nan is over the moon. She deserves to celebrate with her friends.”