Cornwall

Helen Glover brings Rio Olympic medal home to Cornwall

Tweet from Helen Glover Image copyright Twitter/Helen Glover
Image caption Double Olympic champ Helen Glover tweeted that it had been "an amazing day"

Olympian Helen Glover has been given a hero's welcome at her homecoming victory parade in Cornwall.

Despite self-confessed "paranoid" fears that no-one would turn up, crowds of people lined the streets of Newlyn and Penzance.

The rower won the women's pair in Rio with partner Heather Stanning, defending the title won at London 2012.

The Rio medal had to be repaired after it was dropped by Ms Glover's fiance, TV nature presenter Steve Backshall.

Image caption The Olympian said she would celebrate every moment of the parade as it would probably be her last

Accompanied by the Humphry Davy School band, an open-top bus is taking the smiling Olympian through the streets to a civic reception at her former school, making an impromptu stop to meet members of the Mounts Bay gig rowing club.

Humphry Davy head teacher Bill Marshall said the school was "incredibly proud" of Ms Glover, who since winning her first Olympic gold medal in London four years ago had been an inspiration to its students.

"Hard work, dedication and commitment clearly pay off and Helen is a fantastic role model to all young people everywhere," he added.

Image copyright Twitter
Image caption Last month the double Olympian tweeted that she was paranoid nobody would turn up for the victory parade

Ms Glover, who has won three world championships as well as two Olympic golds and is unbeaten in 39 races over five years alongside Ms Stanning, said the parade was her chance to say "thank you" to the town she grew up in.

"It's amazing - if someone had told me four years ago when I was here and buzzing for the parade, that there would have been another one in four years, I'd have been so touched," she told BBC News.

"I think it just shows how much it means to the whole of Cornwall and the towns round here to be bringing a medal home."

Image copyright AP
Image caption Helen Glover and Heather Stanning have won Olympic gold together in Rio and London

Ms Glover said she intended to celebrate every moment of the victory parade as it would probably be her last, adding that although she was not thinking of retirement, the likelihood would be that she would be taking an "extended break".

Fiance Mr Backshall said he need a word that was "bigger than proud" to sum up what he felt.

"It's been the most emotional thing that's ever happened in my whole life," he said.

"To see the person you care about most doing something so extraordinary is just mind-blowing."

Earlier on Twitter, he had invited people to go along to Penzance harbour to see the victory parade.

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