The Brownlee brothers have revealed the wide-ranging perks of life as Olympic medallists – from city-centre receptions to receiving a pensioner’s money through the post.
The Bingley Harriers pair became the first British siblings to stand on the same Olympic podium in more than a century when Alistair won the triathlon ahead of younger brother Jonny in third.
In the days since they have been blown away by well-wishers from across the country.
Thousands of fans turned up to welcome them home at a parade at Millennium Square in Leeds while they have been regularly been stopped on their return to training home village of Bramhope, near Otley .
But it was a letter from an old-age pensioner that Alistair admits has touched him the most.
“Everyone has been great and really friendly,” he said.
“People have been stopping us when we go out training and congratulating us and telling us how proud they were of us. It is really nice – it makes you feel great.
“The best message that we’ve had though was actually an 89-year-old man who sent us a letter in the post. He wrote that he had watched us and that it was one of the best things he had ever seen in his life.
“He also included a tenner for both of us and said that he wasn’t putting his name or address on it so that we couldn’t send it back.
“I don’t know what I’m going to do with it yet. I’ve been so busy with media and everything else since that I haven’t had a chance to do anything with it. I’ve had that in one pocket and my gold medal in the other.
“I actually haven’t even got a spot for my gold medal yet. It’s just been in my pocket.”
Both brothers have had little time to dwell on their Olympic success, with Alistair due to fly to America for a triathlon next month while Jonny will compete in Stockholm this week.
A return to training has, however, given Alistair time to reflect and a chance to get away from a busy media schedule.
“It’s been pretty hectic since. We’ve only had a brief chance to see our parents,” said Alistair, who along with his brother, supports the nationwide grassroots campaign, ‘Join In Local Sport’. To find out what events are happening near you, simply go to the Join In website – www.joininuk.org – and enter your post code.
“The great thing about running is that you can get away to your own thoughts and get in a little bubble. You do think about what you have achieved so that’s been good to get away.
“I’ve started training again and initially it is quite easy because you get back into a bit of normality.
“Then as you start to do a bit of harder training you do think ‘this is hard work’ but I am off to America in a few weeks so it all continues on.”
Jonny admitted to life after the Olympics as a “massive comedown”, with the 22-year-old having to sort the details of his move into a new house since arriving back from London.
Jonny has shared a house with Alistair for the past three years and, with most of the household possessions belonging to his elder brother, has quickly been brought back to the realities of life.
“I’ll be moving out soon but I don’t think it will be sorted out until after I get back from Stockholm,” he said. “I’ve actually got no furniture so I’m going to have to sort that out.
“I’ll be looking for a few freebies off my family and friends to start off with.”