Long Sutton shooter finally arrives in Tokyo for Olympics - and you can support him at Opening Ceremony family event in Sutton Bridge
More than 20 years of waiting has nearly come to an end for a Long Sutton man who is hoping to return from Japan with a gold medal.
Aaron Heading has been part of Team GB for 24 years but is finally attending his first Olympic games after fighting back to fitness following a motorbike crash which ruled him out of the last event.
Aaron, who has three World Championship medals and 2010 Commonwealth Games gold in shooting, has arrived at the Olympic village and is getting ready for next week.
His proud wife Natasha, who is eight months pregnant with their second child, is hoping that South Holland will turn out to show their support for Aaaron by attending an event tomorrow to watch the Opening Ceremony at The Priory Clay Target Centre in Sutton Bridge.
Natasha, who will be cheering on Aaron with two-year-old Hennessy, said she did not wish to jinx her husband.
She said: “I would never say ‘good luck’. I would say do your best, shoot well and enjoy it. When Aaron enjoys it and is in a good place the outcome follows.
“I think he is in a good place as he is ready for it. He is hungry for it as this has been a long time coming.
“He has been in Team GB for 24 years and was the youngest ever to get a competiton at age 12.”
Aaron almost lost his leg in a 2014 motorbike crash and so missed out on the last Olympics in Rio.
Sadly the Games were cancelled last year due to the coronavirus pandemic, but Aaron flew out on Saturday with the gymnasts.
Unfortunately, Team GB has suffered a number of positive tests - but thankfully Aaron is fine.
Natasha said: “Last year was a massive blow for Aaron because he had trained for four years. He was match fit and ready.”
Following two days of quarantine in a holding hotel, Aaron, who received a special pass to train during lockdown, arrived at the Olympic Village earlier this week.
Natasha said: “The Olympic Village is incredible but it is in total lockdown. Team GB are away from every other country.”
Driverless buses around the Olympic Park are among the exciting facilities on offer.
Aaron, who has been set the challenge of getting a picture with Andy Murray and Tom Daley, is competing on Wednesday, July 28.
Natasha, who will be staying up late to watch, said: “He is excited and nervous.
“It is his lifelong dream. As a boy growing up he always wanted to call himself an Olympian and have a medal. If he came home with a medal it would be life-changing.”
Natasha has arranged for a large screen to show the Opening Ceremony, along with a bouncy castle, barbecue and more. The event will run from noon to 5pm.