An eccentric bookshop owner has decided to take matters into his own hands to ensure sports men and women are given the recognition they deserve.
David Mitchell, who owns Scarthin Books, in Cromford, has used his own money to create and send fourth place pewter medals for Olympic contestants who narrowly missed out on bronze.
The unusual move follows a four year campaign by David, targetng both pewter manufacturers and the Olympic organising committee.
He said: “Four years ago at the Beijing Olympics I thought this is ridiculous there are now three times as many athletes as there were at the London Olympics 1948, and twice the number of countries taking part.
“It just seemed inadequate to just give three medals. The standards required for success in Olympic sports have now become so high that three medals are no longer enough to reward the world’s dazzlingly able and dedicated contestants. Surely at least the top four should get them.”
Having had his campaign ignored by top Olympic bods and pewterers, David forged ahead with plan, commissioning Hellison Trophies, in Matlock Green, to order the medals and have them inscribed with the name of each athlete and the event in which they competed.
The medals have cost David £10 each to make and he plans to send out a total of 20 to selected athletes he feels deserve recognition for their sporting efforts.
He has already sent medals to Tom Daley and Peter Waterfield, who competed in synchronised diving, as well as contestants from far flung places such as Taiwan, America and Brazil.
Sports fan David is enjoying watching the Olympics.“It’s a great treat to have the Olympics in our country,” he said. In 1960 none of the track gold medallists would have met 2012 qualifying standards.