Team GB chairman defends gold medal winner Bradley Wiggins getting 'blind drunk'

 

The chairman of the British Olympic Association has hit back at critics complaining about Bradley Wiggins getting 'blind drunk' after winning gold and becoming the nation's greatest Olympian.

Lord Moynihan said Wiggins deserved to finally let his hair down, adding: "He is really a focused guy. He is a success. I have got nothing but admiration and respect for what he did.

"A number of people have commented, wrongly I think, that he was not entitled to go out and enjoy himself yesterday. I am of the group who says he is absolutely thoroughly entitled to have a fantastic party and celebrate. Nobody deserves its more.

"He may have got a bit dehydrated - that vodka tonic might have had more of an effect than it might have done under normal circumstances."As calls grew for the hero cyclist to receive a knighthood, he summed up the mood of the country with the emotional message: “Well, what a day.”

The cyclist spent last night toasting his gold medal on the rooftop bar of his hotel, telling his Twitter followers: “Blind drunk at the minute and overwhelmed with all the messages. Thank you everyone, it’s been emotional. X.”

The knighthood campaign was launched today after the Kilburn-born star, 32, claimed Team GB’s second gold of the Games by winning the Olympic time trial just 10 days after he became the first Briton to win the Tour de France.

British Olympic Association chairman Colin Moynihan said: “We will certainly be making representations.” MPs joined the growing calls for a knighthood, as did the staff at the 10-floor Grange St Paul’s Hotel where Wiggins is staying.

Drinks manager Prasad Withanage said: “Everyone is very happy he is here.”

London MP Emily Thornberry said: “He is a national hero, a fantastic role model. If anybody should be knighted, he should be.”

John Whittingdale, Tory chairman of the Commons culture, media and sport committee, said: “His achievement is utterly extraordinary. He is particularly deserving of recognition.”

Shadow sports minister Clive Efford said: “He is the most decorated British Olympian ever. Of course, he should be recognised alongside people like Sir Chris Hoy and Sir Steve Redgrave.”

A jubilant Wiggins had said after his victory that he would have “a few” vodka tonics to celebrate. He was later pictured partying with friends near St Paul’s until 2am today, telling fans he planned on “getting wasted”.

The cyclist posed for pictures at the Sky Bar of the Grange Hotel in the City where he has been staying before posting images online.

Underneath a picture of himself with a drink in his hand and showing his trademark victory sign, he wrote: “Getting wasted at St Paul’s”.

Wiggins had earlier told how he now wants to “get back to normal” with his wife Catherine and children Ben, seven, and Isabella, five, following his gold medal win.

He said: “After the Olympics is done, my kids go back to school in September and I’ll take them back to school in the mornings, pick them up, go to Tesco and get a pint of milk because that’s normal life, that’s reality.

“I’m up there with Steve and Chris, which is brilliant. I never imagined that as a kid but in terms of medal tally it’s just a number. To be looked upon as inspiring or whatever, it’s brilliant. But as to what comes next, the minute I step out of the Olympic Games and try to get back into normal life I’m quite adamant that things aren’t going to change too much. I’m going to try and continue as things were.

“I lead a normal life, like most people. I’m not a celebrity, never will be one and don’t consider myself one. I despise that whole celebrity culture.”

Despite his plea for normality, experts suggest the win could be worth as much as £30 million over the next two years through sponsorship deals. Public relations guru Max Clifford said: “His story is a fairytale because it touches all of our lives. He is a modern-day hero.”

Government departments or members of the public can nominate people for a knighthood.

Nine Whitehall committees, including one on sport, then scrutinise these submissions before making recommendations to a main committee. It finalises a list which is then forwarded to the Prime Minister who sends it to the Queen for approval.

Andy Hunt, Team GB's chef de mission for the 2012 Olympics, said: "He is entitled to celebrate. What he did was extraordinary. I do not think there is a single person in the country who would not want to buy him a drink."

Mark Adams of the International Olympic Committee agreed that Wiggins deserved a celebration but noted: "Of course we would ask all athletes after their competition to clearly drink wisely - that would be my parental advice."

News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Lena Dunham
booksLena Dunham's memoirs - written at the age of 28 - are honest to the point of making you squirm
Arts and Entertainment
A bit rich: Maggie Smith in Downton Abbey
tvDownton Abbey review: It's six months since we last caught up with the Crawley clan
Sport
Frank Lampard and his non-celebration
premier leagueManchester City vs Chelsea match report from the Etihad Stadium
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Life and Style
A new app has been launched that enables people to have a cuddle from a stranger
techNew app offers 'PG alternative' to dating services like Tinder
News
Jacqueline Bisset has claimed that young women today are obsessed with being 'hot', rather than 'charming', 'romantic' or 'beautiful'
people
Arts and Entertainment
Jake Quickenden sings his heart out in his second audition
tvX Factor: How did the Jakes - and Charlie Martinez - fare?
Sport
premier league
Arts and Entertainment
'New Tricks' star Dennis Waterman is departing from the show after he completes filming on two more episodes
tvOnly remaining original cast-member to leave crime series
Sport
Mario Balotelli celebrates his first Liverpool goal
premier leagueLiverpool striker expressed his opinion about the 5-3 thriller with Leicester - then this happened
News
Britain's shadow chancellor Ed Balls (L) challenges reporter Rob Merrick for the ball during the Labour Party versus the media soccer match,
peopleReporter left bleeding after tackle from shadow Chancellor in annual political football match
Arts and Entertainment
Female fans want more explicit male sex in Game of Thrones, George R R Martin says
tvSpoiler warning: Star of George RR Martin's hit series says viewers have 'not seen the last' of him/her
News
i100
News
i100
Sport
Plenty to ponder: Amir Khan has had repeated problems with US immigration because of his Muslim faith and now American television may shun him
boxing
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Day In a Page

A roller-coaster tale from the 'voice of a generation'

Not That Kind of Girl:

A roller-coaster tale from 'voice of a generation' Lena Dunham
London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice. In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence

London is not bedlam or a cradle of vice

In fact it, as much as anywhere, deserves independence
Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with Malcolm McLaren

Vivienne Westwood 'didn’t want' relationship with McLaren

Designer 'felt pressured' into going out with Sex Pistols manager
Jourdan Dunn: Model mother

Model mother

Jordan Dunn became one of the best-paid models in the world
Apple still coolest brand – despite U2 PR disaster

Apple still the coolest brand

Despite PR disaster of free U2 album
Scottish referendum: The Yes vote was the love that dared speak its name, but it was not to be

Despite the result, this is the end of the status quo

Boyd Tonkin on the fall-out from the Scottish referendum
Manolo Blahnik: The high priest of heels talks flats, Englishness, and why he loves Mary Beard

Manolo Blahnik: Flats, Englishness, and Mary Beard

The shoe designer who has been dubbed 'the patron saint of the stiletto'
The Beatles biographer reveals exclusive original manuscripts of some of the best pop songs ever written

Scrambled eggs and LSD

Behind The Beatles' lyrics - thanks to Hunter Davis's original manuscript copies
'Normcore' fashion: Blending in is the new standing out in latest catwalk non-trend

'Normcore': Blending in is the new standing out

Just when fashion was in grave danger of running out of trends, it only went and invented the non-trend. Rebecca Gonsalves investigates
Dance’s new leading ladies fight back: How female vocalists are now writing their own hits

New leading ladies of dance fight back

How female vocalists are now writing their own hits
Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments