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Family of Chelsie Giles "thrilled to bits" with Olympic bronze

Family of Chelsie Giles
© Reuters
The 24-year-old defeated Switzerland's Fabienne Kocher in the women's -52kg repechage.

Chelsie Giles' family were "thrilled to bits" with her judo bronze medal at Tokyo 2020, after 14 of them gathered to watch together.

The 24-year-old claimed Great Britain's first medal of this Olympics with victory over Switzerland's Fabienne Kocher in the women's -52kg repechage.

"We all gathered at Kelly's, Chelsie's cousin's house and there was Kelly's husband, Kelly's children and her brother and his wife-to be, so it was a real family occasion," Chelsie's mother Sue told the PA news agency.

"(I'm) thrilled to bits, she thoroughly, thoroughly deserved it, and deserves everything that's come from here."

14 members of Giles' family gathered to watch her bring home the bronze medal
14 members of Giles' family gathered to watch her bring home the bronze medal (Danny Lawson/PA)

Cousin Kelly Cayter added: "Like any other family I think, we just got together, ate food, had a few drinks and tried to stay awake.

"(It means) everything. Everything. We knew how much it meant to her, we've had a difficult year, and it just meant so much to everybody, we were just so elated for her."

Giles had not been tipped to get Britain's first medal, which she won in the birthplace of judo, having gone into the Olympics ranked 10th in the world, but it was a journey that involved the whole family.

Cayter said: "Chelsie used to go along with her dad and her brother to watch while her brother was on the mat and the coach said 'why don't you come along and have a go', so one day she did go on and have a go and she never stopped she just kept on going.

"It's just a passion that she's had from a young age. What you don't appreciate when they're on the TV and they're at the Olympics is the journey to get them there.

"It takes years and years and years and the parents' dedication, driving them up and down the country, the amount of money it costs to go to these competitions and the petrol, it's a family commitment and it takes a lot.

"She's done that herself, but with the foundation from the family that got her started so to see her get to there, having seen that whole journey is incredible."

For 13-year-old sister Jasmine, watching her sibling perform on the highest stage has inspired her to have another go at the sport.

She said: "I did (Judo) when I was younger, I think when I was about five or six, and then I wasn't really sure of it at first so I stopped for a bit, but I'm thinking of going back.

"You get to explore the world and travel."

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Chelsie Giles in action on July 25, 2021
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