Family and friends of Holmfirth Paralympic swimmer Jonny Booth are preparing for a late-night TV session if he’s in the running for a gold medal.
The 18-year-old disabled swimming champion, making his debut at the Paralympics in Rio, could be on Channel 4 as late as 1.40am on Saturday if he is successful in the 400m freestyle heats on Friday.
His mum, Ann Booth, along with 25 ‘swim mums’ are having a get-together on Friday to follow the coverage.
Ann, from New Mill, said that, as a ‘swim mum’, she was already well used to getting up at 4.30am for her son’s training sessions.
“I just want him to enjoy the experience and the fantastic opportunity,” said Ann.
“I am really proud of him and hope he grasps the opportunity with both hands. He has achieved so much.”
Jonny remains in contact with coach, Mark Lappin, as well as his mum.
“Mark has coached him really well and made sure he is prepared for Friday,” said Anne.
Mum is hoping that Jonny can reach the final and that he enjoys the whole Rio experience.
“Mark said that if he gets a medal it will be brilliant but it’s his first Games and I just hope he enjoys it.
“He has told me the facilities are great and he has his own room, an apartment with a balcony. He’s with other GB squad swimmers. He knows them all and has been swimming with Ellie Simmonds.
“He is the fourth best in the world in his category. There are two seconds between him and the third fastest.”
There is a chance, too, that Jonny could break the current British record.
Jonny, who is an international swimming gold medallist, will be representing Great Britain in the S9 400m freestyle race. His disability is a muscle wasting condition called Charcot-Marie-Tooth disease which he was diagnosed with aged seven.
Ann, who is a single parent with two other children and a full-time job, says her son appeared to be relaxed ahead of his big day.
“I am nervous and will be shaking but he is taking it all in his stride,” she said. “Coaches have said he is a well-grounded lad and an inspiration to others.”
* The heats are taking place between 1.15pm and 4.15pm on Friday, UK time. The final will be between 9.30pm Friday and 1.40am on Saturday. Channel 4 are televising the Games.