14 September 2012Jonnie Peacock: This is my life and I wouldn't change it
It's a week since Jonnie Peacock ran the race of his young life. The sight of the 19-year-old sprinter beating his hero Oscar Pistorius, smashing the Paralympic 100 metres record and then finding his mother Linda in the crowd to give her a massive hug was one of the iconic images of London 2012.
He is still drinking in the details of that golden night. I tell him there was an audible roar in my street when he crossed the line. “Wow! That is crazy,” he says. “Apparently in the stadium it was even louder than when Mo Farah won the 5,000!” There was also a record TV audience (6.3 million) to go with his record time (10.9 sec) and a gracious tribute from Pistorius. “We just witnessed one of the great performances from Jonnie. I think he is going to inspire a lot of people in the coming years,” said the great South African.
Now Peacock plays down talk of winning BBC Sports Personality of the Year with a wide-eyed “whoa!” but he does seem cut out to be a superstar for years to come. A British Pistorius, even? He certainly has the right attitude, and the blue-eyed, blond-haired good looks and superhero name certainly help.
He bursts out laughing when I ask whether he has had more female attention since he won his medal. “You know, I’ve got hundreds and hundreds of Facebook requests at the moment. I went out clubbing a couple of nights after the race and a few girls knew who I was, but I can’t really remember the night to be honest!”
“I think I was a good boy that night, ha ha. I’m pretty sure I was a good boy.” He does admit that the night ended with his fellow Paralympian, the discus thrower Daniel Greaves, pouring vodka down his throat. “We do like to let our hair down a little bit,” he giggles. “But I don’t enjoy getting drunk really, because you really feel it for the next few days.” He intends to spend his time off on a driving holiday in France with an old school friend before he heads back to training with his American coach, Daniel Pfaff.
Read full story: Evening Standard