Stone’s Joe Clarke wins gold at Rio Olympics – And gets Freedom of the Borough

Joe realises he's in the lead - and definitely a medal - but then it goes from Bronze to Gold
Joe realises he’s in the lead – and definitely a medal – but then it goes from Bronze to Gold

Joe Clarke put Stone firmly on the map last night, with one of his greatest runs of his life ever, the result? GOLD!

The 23 year old, who’s a member of Stafford and Stone Canoe Club based on Westbridge park, was competing in the final of the Canoe Slalom, he set a marker which the final two paddlers could not beat.

Joe was inspired as a child by Olympic and rowing legend Sir Steve Redgrave, he began his paddling aged just 11 on a kayaking trip away with the Scouts.

Five-time Olympic gold medallist Sir Steve Redgrave sent Joe a photograph, signed with the words: “Leave no stone unturned” which hangs in pride of place at his home. Sir Steve was the first to congratulate Joe last night as he reached dry land.

You can see from the times below just how tightly the final 3 were placed.
Joe Clarke (GB) 88.53 seconds – GOLD
Peter Kauzer (SLO) 88.70 seconds – SILVER
Jiri Prskavev (CZE) 88.99 seconds – BRONZE


Joe might not even know yet but he has been put forward to be honoured with the Freedom for Borough.


Leader of Stafford Borough Council, Patrick Farrington, said that he is proposing that Olympic champion Joe Clarke be given the Freedom of the Borough.

Councillor Farrington made the announcement following the gold medal for the Stafford and Stone Canoe Club paddler.
The Union Flag was also raised above the Civic Centre in recognition of Joe’s victory.

He said:

“This was an unbelievable achievement. Like the rest of the country I was cheering Joe on from the start to the finish line. And it was it was great to see members of his family were there in person to cheer him on.
“The skill, courage and commitment he displayed in achieving Olympic gold will be an inspiration to so many.”

He added:

“It is also a fantastic tribute to the Stafford and Stone Canoe Club who, time and time again, have demonstrated what a successful organisation they are at producing world class competitors.”


Joe was proposed by Councillor Farrington for the honour as a ‘person of distinction’ – and this must now be voted on by members of the Council at a special meeting which will take place at a future date.