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Swimming saved my life admits Hall of Fame inductee Duncan Goodhew

Olympic gold medallist Duncan Goodhew has told how swimming ‘saved his life’ as he was inducted into the Swim England Hall of Fame.

The 62-year-old said it was a ‘thrill and a privilege’ to be among the first 26 people included in the list – and ‘incredible’ to be named alongside Captain Matthew Webb, the first person to successfully swim the English Channel.

Goodhew won gold in the 1980 Moscow Olympic Games in the 100m Breaststroke in 1:093.34, while he was also part of the Medley Relay team which finished third.

He also won two silvers at the 1978 Commonwealth Games in Edmonton, Canada, finishing in 1:04.24 in the 100m Breaststroke and 2:21.92 in the 200m race.

He first started swimming at school and said it had been a ‘lifeline’ for him.

“Swimming saved my life,” he said. “It was my life preserver in school.

Really meaningful

“I could not read, I was drowning in the classroom and it was a swimming class and being in a team that changed my fortunes and allowed me to achieve what I have done in my life.

“Not a day goes past without swimming impacting on my life.

“I put back into swimming what I have received from swimming over the years. It’s been really meaningful to hear a number of swimmers on the scene talk to me about how I impacted on their lives.

“It’s a real thrill and a privilege to be one of the first inductees into the Hall of Fame. To be in with Captain Webb is incredible.”

After his retirement from swimming, Goodhew became the president of Swimathon and has helped raise more than £10 million for worthy causes.

He is also a key figure in encouraging school children to swim, promoting the importance of swimming being a life skill, how fun it is and also recognising the physical and mental health benefits associated with swimming.