News

Emergency nurse enjoys online fame after being mistaken for Olympic hero

He can’t kayak – or even swim - yet nurse Joe Clarke is enjoying his moment of fame after being mistaken online for a Team GB gold-medal winner.
Joe_Clarke

He cant kayak or even swim - yet nurse Joe Clarke is enjoying his moment of fame after being mistaken online for an Olympic gold medallist who shares the same name.

Staff nurse Joe Clarke has been mistaken for a Team GB athlete

The Worthing Hospital A&E staff nurse was preparing for a night shift on Wednesday when out of the blue he received a good luck message on Twitter from Matthew Pinsent.

The Olympic rowing legend and presenter had been attempting to offer support to a Team GB K1 kayaker, also called Joe Clarke, ahead of his event at the Rio games.

Within minutes people from all around the world were retweeting the message and adding in their own words of support.

Excited

Nurse Mr Clarke initially tried to correct the mistake, tweeting: Well, while I am flattered as I feel

He can’t kayak – or even swim - yet nurse Joe Clarke is enjoying his moment of fame after being mistaken online for an Olympic gold medallist who shares the same name.

Joe_Clarke
Staff nurse Joe Clarke has been mistaken for a Team GB athlete

The Worthing Hospital A&E staff nurse was preparing for a night shift on Wednesday when out of the blue he received a good luck message on Twitter from Matthew Pinsent.

The Olympic rowing legend and presenter had been attempting to offer support to a Team GB K1 kayaker, also called Joe Clarke, ahead of his event at the Rio games.

Within minutes people from all around the world were retweeting the message and adding in their own words of support.

Excited

Nurse Mr Clarke initially tried to correct the mistake, tweeting: ‘Well, while I am flattered as I feel like a celebrity, I think I’m the wrong (but original) Joe Clarke'

He later joined in the fun, telling his followers: 'hope I get gold.#excited staff room at work is buzzing. #nightshift'

Mr Pinsent apologised when he realised his error: 'apologies to the other @joeclarke who was given a slightly surprising last minute twitter call up for Rio.'

Eventually at 3am Mr Clarke's phone ran out of battery power due to the sheer weight of alerts.

However, the next day he was happy to keep the joke going and even found time to tweet his own message of congratulations after the kayaker clinched Britain’s second gold medal of the Rio 2016 games.

Overwhelming

He told Nursing Standard: ‘It’s all a bit overwhelming, but also a lot of fun.

‘I’m happy for it to last a little longer, but I think my colleagues want it to die down now so that I shut up going on about it to them.’

He admits that while he was aware of his sporting namesake, he had not followed the Olympics so far.

He added: ‘To be honest I think volunteering as a medic at the next games is as close as I will ever get to competing myself.

‘I missed the whole London games in 2012 as that was when I was qualifying from my nursing degree and didn’t have enough in my bursary to cover the cost of the tickets.’

Ambitions

Asked about his own career ambitions he said: ‘I always wanted to work at Worthing Hospital as they looked after my mum a few years ago when she was in a car accident.

‘I’m loving my work here and would definitely be interested in working towards a speciality or nurse practitioner role in the future.

‘I might even take up kayaking.'

Sign up to continue reading for FREE

OR

Subscribe for unlimited access

Enjoy 1 month's access for £1 and get:

  • Full access to nursing standard.com and the Nursing Standard app
  • Monthly digital edition
  • RCNi Portfolio and interactive CPD quizzes
  • RCNi Learning with 200+ evidence-based modules
  • 10 articles a month from any other RCNi journal

This article is not available as part of an institutional subscription. Why is this?

Jobs