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14 September 2012 / OLYMPIAN VISIT TO TRURO HIGH SCHOOL

Caroline rowed for Great Britain in the 1992 Barcelona Olympics and was delighted to introduce the hugely successful 2012 Olympians to the girls at Truro High. A special assembly was arranged and, after watching a replay of Helen and Heather's gold winning race, each rower introduced herself and questions were invited. Eager to take advantage of the once-in-a-lifetime opportunity, lots of hands immediately shot up.

Among the many questions posed, pupils wanted to know if the home crowd made a difference, how does someone become an Olympian, how much training is involved, what is the Olympic experience like, how did the team celebrate, what made the women start rowing, what's it like at the start line, what does it feel like to be selected, where does the uniform come from and who were the rowers inspired by.

The answer to the latter was summed up by Beth Rodford: "The rest of our team," she said. "Going to training each day and seeing everyone's commitment was my inspiration." The others agreed, though former army PTI Dame Kelly Holmes was also a shining example for Heather Stanning, a serving army officer, and Sir Steve Redgrave was cited by Helen Glover as a reason for trying for the Sports Giant scheme.

Questions over, there was just time for pupils to take and pose for photos with their heroines and get their autographs before going back to class, dreaming of gold.

"I've touched the medal," said one of the girls, as she reluctantly made her way out. "I'm not letting anything touch my hand."

It was a sentiment everyone there could appreciate.

Ends 14 September 2012

Photo (by Bernie Pettersen):
Olympic rowers Helen Glover, Heather Stanning, Jess Eddie and Beth Rodford with Truro High School sports scholars and Head of PE Kat Barbery-Redd (seated left)


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