Children got to see a gold medal up close when Olympic swimmer Duncan Goodhew dropped into a Bicester school.

Mr Goodhew, named deputy mayor of the Olympic village, took morning assembly at St Mary’s School, in Queens Avenue, to tell youngsters about sports and the importance of physical activity.

Pupils got a chance to look at his 100m breaststroke medal won at the 1980 Moscow Games, and the Olympic Torch he carried in Cornwall in May.

Children, aged four to 11, dressed in the colours of the country they were representing in the school games to welcome the swimmer.

They sang the Olympic song and the Torch was passed around so every child had a chance to hold it.

Julianna De Leon, five, said: “It was very exciting to see the gold medal. I had a lovely day.”

School administrator Noeline Winter said: “We were tremendously excited about the whole thing. He was wonderful with the children.

“Lots of parents came to assembly and there were lots of photoshoots.”

Mr Goodhew said: “I was absolutely thrilled to visit St Mary’s Catholic School and meet the staff, parents and the pupils on the week the Olympic Torch passed through Bicester.”