A FAMILY from Clayton West are truly living the Olympics dream.
Trevor and Joanna Rhodes spent a year planning a sporting treat for themselves and their two sons, Timothy and Gabriel.
They managed to secure tickets for events including fencing, rowing and cycling.
But for five-year-old Gabriel, things got even better.
The family were on a Tube train heading to Hampton Court for the cycling when Gabriel and Timothy – both pupils at Kayes First School – entered a photo competition run by sponsors Adidas.
And Gabriel’s impromptu handstand on a seat won him two prized tickets for the gymnastics finals.
That meant Gabriel and his mum had front-row seats to watch Team GB star Beth Tweddle clinch Olympic bronze.
Not only that, they were sitting next to fashion designer Stella McCartney – the woman behind the Team GB costumes.
Joanna said: “We had had a great day at Hampton Court watching Bradley Wiggins winning the gold medal when we got a phone call to say Gabriel had won tickets.
“Gabriel and Timothy, 7, both do gymnastics at Thornes Park in Wakefield so this was a once in a lifetime opportunity.
“The atmosphere was fantastic at the North Greenwich Arena and we had stunning seats, right next to Stella McCartney. Gabriel was wearing his own tracksuit and she had lovely things to say about it.
“The McCartneys and us really celebrated when Beth won her medal. We managed to get closer to get photos and now Gabriel is inspired to be an Olympic gymnast”.
While Gabriel was watching the gymnastics, his brother and dad were watching diving events.
Yesterday the whole family were up early to grab a prime spot in Hyde Park to catch a glimpse of Dewsbury’s Alistair Brownlee and his brother Jonathan bid for glory in the Triathlon.
And they were delighted when Alistair clinched the gold and Jonathan the bronze in a thrilling competition, watched by huge crowds.
Joanna said: “We didn’t have tickets but the run was through a public part of the park.
“We had planned for a year to make sure the boys had a summer to remember forever, and were lucky in getting tickets for several events.
“We also made sure we were there for the free events, such as the bike road races and the women’s marathon.
“It has been an absolutely fabulous experience and we have truly lived the Olympics dream”.