OLYMPIC gold medallist Tom James dropped in on a Wrexham school to congratulate pupils on their achievements.
Rowing legend Tom, 28, of Coedpoeth, visited Ysgol Clywedog to take questions from pupils and hand out awards at a prizegiving ceremony.
Head boy Luke Gallagher entertained the special guest by playing Row, Row, Row Your Boat on his electric guitar.
Assistant headteacher Bruno Sznerch told the Leader: “I had been in talks with Tom’s father Mike for several months to set up a visit and we were overjoyed when he finally found time.
“Tom was greeted with rapturous applause, and the students asked very intelligent questions about his background, the Olympics and about his training regime.
“He caused an awful lot of excitement among the pupils.”
Tom visited the PE department in the afternoon, where he gave fitness tips to students and showcased his gold medals.
He returned in the evening for a packed prizegiving ceremony, in which he presented pupils past and present with certificates and trophies.
Tom himself was presented with a pair of framed drawings by 14-year-old pupils Joshua Barnett and Camile Kuchniak.
Mr Sznerch added: “In the afternoon we took him to meet maths teacher Dr Matthew Edwards, who is a former Oxford University student.
“Tom is a former Cambridge student so we thought it would be good to get a bit of a friendly rivalry going.
“He returned in the evening for the awards ceremony, and gave a speech before taking questions from the audience.
The eyes of the world were on Tom, a former pupil of King’s School, Chester, as he rowed to victory as part of the men’s coxless four in August, following the clinching of his first gold in Beijing 2008.
His first-class rowing efforts led to a post box outside Townhill Post Office in Wrexham being painted gold. He was later granted the freedom of Wrexham borough by Wrexham Council.
Mr Sznerch added: “On behalf of pupils, teachers and governors I’d like to say a huge thanks to Tom for finding time to come and visit us. It was a memorable day for everyone.”