Scott Durant said becoming an Olympic champion was “surreal” after the Lancaster rower stormed to gold as part the men’s eight in Rio.
The crew took Team GB’s first title in the event since Sydney 2000, dominating the race from start to finish to ensure a golden finale to the rowing regatta.
Former Lancaster Royal Grammar School pupil Durant, Tom Ransley, Andrew T Hodge, Matt Gotrel, Pete Reed, Paul Bennett, Matt Langridge, William Satch and cox Phelan Hill produced an exceptional race at Lagoa.
Germany were unable to claw back the leaders, finishing 1.33 seconds behind to the delight of the strong British contingent in the crowd.
Durant said: “In 2000 we watched the eight win and that inspired a lot of us to take up rowing and everyone aspires to be the same.
“It’s surreal that we have done it.
“Our race plan was to focus on what we’ve been doing.
“We have not had the easiest of seasons and tried to not focus on everything that everyone else was doing.
“We got a good first stroke and then it all came good from there.”
Men's eight coach Jurgen Grobler said: "Another gold, number 12. It’s just fantastic what the guys did.
"They matched the coxless four and it’s been a wonderful day. It’s wonderful for British rowing, it’s wonderful for our sport.
"I feel so good for the guys, there is a good mix between older and younger ones.
“The four has a big tradition and we always start to build our team around that but in the last four years we have developed winning athletes, medal athletes, podium athletes.
"We knew we had a good bunch of guys to win the eight as well.
“There’s no secret [to the success] – it’s just hard, hard work from the guys."