Robbie Grabarz was looking forward to plenty of parties after completing a remarkable rise by landing an Olympic medal in the high jump.
The 24-year-old won a share of bronze to cap a fantastic year which has seen him bounce back from losing his Lottery funding and climb from 28th in the world to become one of the British stars of the Olympic Stadium.
Birmingham-based Grabarz, who cleared 2.29m to share the medal with Canadian Derek Drouin and Qatar’s Mutaz Essa Barshim, admitted the celebrations can now begin.
“I hadn’t made any plans in case anything went wrong, but there will be plenty of plans now for parties,” he said.
Grabarz is one of the British team’s most colourful characters, leaving a university course he cannot remember the full name of and posing naked for a gay magazine.
He even considered quitting athletics last year to restore classic cars for a living before a few harsh words from his coach Fuzz Ahmed turned his career around.
Grabarz added: “It seems a little bit like fiction now. To the general public I’ve come from nowhere and they are going to be like ‘who is this kid with a medal around his neck’?
‘‘It’s fantastic. It seems slightly surreal.
‘‘I planned for it and made the right decisions and knew I had got the training and the talent to achieve this, but to make it come true is the difficult thing.
‘‘It’s not going to sink in for a while.”