A former Olympic sharp shooter enjoyed seats at the event he was World Champion in, with the help of a Sanctuary Care home in Woolwich.
Steffen Cranmer, who won a gold medal in small-bore rifle shooting in the 1958 World Championships in Moscow, suffered a stroke after having heart bypass surgery in 2006, which left his mobility and speech severely impaired.
When The British Olympic Association offered Steffen two tickets to the rifle shooting finals at The Royal Artillery Barracks in Woolwich on Friday 3 August, his family was elated but concerned because they were unsure if he could attend – unless he could find specialist accommodation.
Eldest daughter Sarah did some online research and found Sanctuary Care’s Ashgreen House Nursing Home in Woolwich. After speaking to regional manager Heather Brimm, Steffen and wife Yvonne stayed at the home, enabling this trip of a lifetime to happen.
Steffen, who is 78 and lives in the Cotswolds, stayed at the Woolwich home before travelling with Sarah to the event the following day.
Sarah said: “We are and always have been terribly proud of my father and cannot begin to express our gratitude for the help received from Sanctuary to make this unbelievably special day possible for him.
“The excellent facilities of the home and the emotional attachment the staff had for my father accentuated the purpose of his visit to Woolwich.
“The actual Olympic day was thrilling and an enormous success; my father was able to watch the final and medal ceremony in his own sport from a place of honour. He had, as we had secretly hoped, the added pleasure of meeting up with former shooting colleagues that he had lost touch with, and with whom he has promised to stay in contact.”
During the day Steffen was extremely excited to see Peter Wilson, who won gold in the men’s double trap event the previous day, being interviewed just a few yards away.
Yvonne added: “We cannot thank the management and staff at Ashgreen House enough for their kindness, helpfulness and enthusiastic welcome. Throughout our stay, each one introduced themselves, wished my husband well and, on the day, waved him off with great excitement. Steffen was so happy to be there and enjoyed meeting all the staff.”
Steffen and Yvonne also have a younger daughter Fiona and a grandson, Pierre Alexandre.
Steffen took up shooting as a young man and enjoyed enormous success. At the tender age of 17 he was the youngest ever member selected for the Great British shooting team competing in the Helsinki Olympics in 1952 and his career continued to flourish with the Melbourne Olympics in 1956 and Romein 1960. In 1958 Steffen was crowned World Champion of his team event in Moscow.
The home’s acting manager Momarr Camara said: “The team at Ashgreen House were truly honoured to have Steffen and Yvonne staying with us and felt very privileged to have the opportunity to help them. There was a huge buzz around the home ahead of the Olympics and this was not only a very special day for Steffen, but also for our residents who were very excited to meet him. We are so proud that we have been able to help the Cranmer family and make this special day happen.”