THE FAMILY of Pete Reed have spoken of their delight after he rowed to his second Olympic gold on Saturday.
His achievement as part of the men's coxless fours was further honoured on Monday morning, when three post boxes in his hometown of Nailsworth were painted gold to celebrate his triumph - four years after he claimed his first gold at the Beijing games in 2008.
The post box used by Pete as a child near his parents' home in Watledge was the first to receive a golden makeover by Royal Mail, which also painted a pair of boxes outside the town's Tesco Express store and the Post Office.
Pete, who celebrated his 31st birthday on the day of the opening ceremony, also appears on a new set of commemorative stamps produced by Royal Mail alongside team mates Andrew Triggs Hodge, Tom James and Cheltenham-born Alex Gregory, who blasted rivals Australia to complete the race in six minutes, 3.97 seconds at Eton Dorney.
Pete's father Leo said: "We were just blown away - it was a very difficult race, the competition was top notch, so it was a fantastic achievement.
"The six minutes just disappeared. It was a huge relief when they went over the line first, we are so proud."
Nailsworth mayor Steve Robinson added: "It is a great achievement. For such a small town to have a gold medal winner is tremendous, the whole town is talking about it."
Pete - who has the largest lung capacity ever recorded - grew up in Nailsworth and attended th town's primary school.
He went on to Cirencester's Deer Park School and first climbed aboard a boat while in his second year of a mechanical engineering degree at the University of the West of England in Bristol.
Despite his late start, he soon made his mark - winning the 2005 boat race with Oxford while studying for his masters.
A lieutenant in the Royal Navy, Pete now lives in Chiswick, west London with his girlfriend and travels to Caversham every day to train.
Commenting on his success, Pete said: "I cannot believe it. The hours you do, the pain, it is all worth it."
Cyclist Ed Clancy, whose parents live in Tetbury, won gold as part of the world-record beating men's pursuit team on Friday, before claiming a bronze medal himself 48 hours later in the men's omnium event.