Video: Suffolk boxer Anthony Ogogo tells how he nearly had to pull-out of Olympic dream
Olympic hope Anthony Ogogo has admitted he came closing to pulling out of the greatest challenge of his life after his mother was taken seriously ill.
The popular Lowestoft boxer mulled over the biggest decision of his life for days before accepting his mother would want him to carry on in his quest for gold on the biggest stage of all.
In a highly emotional article on his website, the 23-year-old middleweight – a silver medallist at the 21010 Commonwealth Games - lays bare his thoughts, describing his mother's strength as 'gargantuan' and talking of the 'heroes' in his life.
Ogogo stops short of going into detail about his mother's illness, out of respect to his family, saying, 'I'm sure I'll tell this story another day, maybe in my autobiography post Olympics, maybe when the dust has finally settled on my boxing career, I don't know when, but it will be a day when I have a better mindset and understanding of the whole situation.'
Ogogo writes: 'I can happily admit that I've never cried so much. Those who have followed me throughout my career to date will know that I have never shied away from naming my mum as my ultimate hero. She is my true inspiration and I can testify that my four sisters feel the same.
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'She brought us all up single-handedly whilst working multiple jobs to support us. She is the nicest, most generous woman you could ever wish to meet. All the desire, passion, humility that I possess comes from no one but her.
'The strength that my mum has is gargantuan. She is the strongest individual that I have ever and will ever come across, so I know that she will be okay.
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'The reason behind this blog was to express my feelings.
'Winning the Olympic gold medal was pretty much the only thing I cared about, it's all I've ever wanted to do. I hope reading these blogs and watching my videos will show exactly how much desire I have for Team GB and that gold medal.
'However, when something happens like this it renders all other things irrelevant. I wrestled with what to do for a few days, whether to even compete at the Olympics, but I know how proud I made my mum when throughout all the adversity I finally came through to qualify, so competing and giving it my all and winning a medal will mean everything to her.
'This whole episode got me thinking about heroes. The people we admire, look up to, idolize. Everyone reading this will have people they admire, as do I, but what I have learned in the last week is that I for so long have been admiring the wrong people.
'I cannot talk highly enough about the nurses and doctors that have taken care of my mum. One of my sisters is a nurse and watching her assist the nurses made me well up - how hard these people work, the difference that they make and the little fuss that they receive.
'I've spent years mesmerised by the skills of Lionel Messi, the talent of Floyd Mayweather and I can't help but feel annoyed at how I've been ignorant to the heroic endeavours that the NHS provide.
'Say what you will about this country that we reside in, but the NHS, with all the cutbacks that are still occurring, proves it is the best healthcare service in the world. These people are heroes, in my eyes they should be idolized. I cannot thank them enough.
'This week I opened the paper to see that three more soldiers have given their lives to the greater cause over in Afghanistan. Those are true heroes. The people that make a difference to you and I, whether in a small hospital ward or the other side of the world. Thank these people next time you have a reflective moment and feel blessed.
'I also would like to say how proud I am of all my sisters I wish I could be more like them everyday.'