IT was a weekend proud Joan Godfrey will never forget.
And neither will the rest of her family or her talented grandson John Baines who competed brilliantly for Great Britain in the four-man bobsleigh in the Winter Olympics.
Although Joan, 82, from Warren Road, in Hartlepool, and John’s other close relatives couldn’t get over to Sochi, they made sure they made the most of the special occasion and all gathered at Hartlepool United’s Victoria Park where they watched the action unfold on a big screen.
John, whose mum, Christine 55, is also originally from Hartlepool, was part of the GB2 four-man bobsleigh team who finished 19th in the final at the world’s biggest winter sports event yesterday.
The final was split over two days with the first two runs being held on Saturday, when his proud family got together at the room they hired at The Vic, before the final two runs on the slopes yesterday morning.
Joan, a retired clothing factory worker, said: “He’s done absolutely brilliantly, I’m so proud of him, we all are.
“It was so lovely to watch it on Saturday with all of the family. It was a brilliant atmosphere and such a nice afternoon.
“Everyone has been so supportive and everyone seems to know who he is now. When I went to church yesterday morning everybody was coming over and congratulating me.”
John, who lives in Middlesbrough with his wife, Lexi, and their two-year-old son, Harrison, competed in the two-man bobsleigh event last weekend before he was back on the slopes for the four-man race. The former sprinter is an RAF serviceman who is based at Leeming as a senior aircraftsman. His mum Christine, who grew up in the West View area of Hartlepool, beamed with delight after his performances in Sochi and said she had spoke to John ahead of the closing ceremony which brought an end to the Games yesterday afternoon.
Christine, who is married to Martin, 58, and is also mum of Laura, 26, said: “It was lovely to be able to watch him with all of the family on Saturday.
“He’s done so well just to get there in the first place and I spoke to him after he’d finished yesterday and the team were really happy with how they’d done. We’re just all so proud of him.”