Where are they now?: Duncan Goodhew

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The Independent Online
THE violent intervention of fate shaped Duncan Goodhew's life when he was 10 years old. He fell 18 feet from a tree and consequentially lost every hair on his body, the effect of damage to a nerve in his lip. Already dyslexic, he condemned himself as 'a stupid oddity' but acquired the desire to overcome his disadvantages, harnessing a talent for swimming with a fascination for the Olympic ideal. Winning the 100 metres breaststroke gold medal at the 1980 Moscow Games 'completed the healing process'.

The experience remains a force today as he divides his time between advising businessmen on positive thinking and 'acting as cheerleader for various causes' ranging from the presidency of the BT Swimathon, which has raised pounds 5.25m since 1988, to visiting terminally ill cancer patients on behalf of Glaxo. 'If you can get a smile from a person who has only days left, it can be very rewarding.' A restaurant in Edenbridge, Kent, which he co-owns with two of his four brothers, Neville and Giles, provides a link with the life he might have led, given a less traumatic youth. His family ran almost 60 hotels and restaurants 'before selling to Whitbreads at the right time' in the 1980s.

Goodhew, now 36, married on Christmas Eve, 1984. His wife, Anne, a graphic designer, is from North Carolina, where he went to university - 'but we met on East Croydon station.' They have two children, Victoria, two, and William, seven weeks, and live in Camberwell.

(Photograph omitted)

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