South Africa

‘We are not a Mickey Mouse team’

2016-11-13 06:00
Shaun Keeling and Lawrence Brittain have been nominated for team of the year at the SA Sports Awards. (Getty Images)

Johannesburg - When he received news of his and partner Shaun Keeling’s nomination for team of the year at the SA Sports Awards, rower Lawrence Brittain was already sporting the beginnings of a beer belly.

After claiming Olympic silver by ­going from fourth to second in the last 1 000m in the men’s coxless pairs in August, the pair’s heroics have been limited to eating whatever they want, and giving motivational talks at schools and corporate organisations.

But for Brittain, who admits he may have enjoyed his newfound freedom from the tyranny of training “a little too much”, the news is a pleasant reminder of a sensational year that was.

“It’s very cool [the nomination]. I’m very excited. It’s been such an epic year. I think [fellow nominees Mamelodi] Sundowns will be favourites going in, but we definitely stand a chance,” he says.

Making the year particularly epic for Brittain was his well-documented ­recovery from cancer to claim silver alongside Keeling, which has given him more than just the usual platitudes on his public-speaking tour.

“It’s such a crazy story – it still blows my mind when I think about it. It’s nice to be able to share a powerful story like that with others who suffer from ­cancer,” he says.

“Hopefully, it gives them belief ­because it’s changed me in a huge way. It was very tough being sick and still training, and it knocked me because I didn’t know at the time.

“But after being diagnosed, being able to compete and produce a result like that has given us belief in training. Now we know we can box with anyone because we’re not a Mickey Mouse team any more.”

Being the smallest team on the nominees’ list (the other team in contention are the Blitzboks, who won bronze at the Olympics), Brittain was at pains to explain that they still constitute a team.

“It’s very much a team sport because you’re only as strong as the weakest link in the team. In the pairs, it’s even more exaggerated because each ­person has their side of the boat to deal with,” he says.

NEXT ON SPORT24X

What To Read Next

 

Read News24’s Comments Policy

24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
0 comments
Add your comment
Comment 0 characters remaining
Live Video Streaming
Video Highlights
Sport Talk

 
 
Men
Women
Love 2 Meet
English Premiership flutter

Take Sport24's "expert" tips at your peril...

Sport24 on Twitter

Follow Sport24 news on Twitter

Featured

With the Absa Premiership in full swing, who will be crowned champions when all is said and done? Will Mamelodi Sundowns defend their title? Or can Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates or Bidvest Wits mount a serious challenge? Stay glued to Sport24 to find out!

Latest blogs
Vote

How excited are you about the upcoming Olympic Games in Rio?

Twitter Follow Sport24 on Twitter

Facebook "Like" Sport24's Facebook page

WIN Enter and win with Sport24!

BlackBerry Stay in the loop on your BlackBerry

RSS Feeds Sport news delivered really simply.

 
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.