A Cornishwoman has romped home with Britain’s first Olympic gold!
Born and bred Newlyn girl Helen Glover, who went to Humphrey Davy school, also became the first female Olympic champion in the history of British rowing.
Together with team-mate Heather Stanning Helen beat off competition from Australia with a 7min 27:13sec winning time on Dornay Lake today (Weds).
The magnificant win shoots the 26 year old PE Teacher, daughter of Rachel and Jimmy Glover, to international sports stardom.
Helen was spotted by Steve Redgrave’s Sporting Giants programme, aimed at training up tall athletic individuals for Olympic glory, in 2008.
Before that she’d never rowed or “even sat in a boat before”.
After todays Olympic Gold glory Helen said modestly: “We were mildly aware of the expectations.”
“We were kidding ourselves that this wasn’t happening. But as soon as we crossed the line we saw the pressure that had been upon us.
“We realised that people had been waiting for this.”
Today Helen and her five brothers and sisters were celebrating swapping congratulations with friends on Facebook.
In Penzance and Newlyn general revelry is believed to be afoot.
Helen’s always been a keen athlete: she was in the England’s hockey Satellite Squad as a youngster and also competed internationally in cross country.
Dad Jimmy is a former Cornwall rugby captain.
He told reporters last year: “Helen has got great will power and great strength and has always been a very fine athlete.
“She doesn’t take anything for granted, she trains like mad.
“To some extent I am surprised by how well she’s done but that’s just Helen. She is a bit of a one off.”
Helen has twin brothers, Benjamin and Nathan, and sisters Freya and Ruth.
She was working as a PE teacher in Bath before she joined the Sports stars scheme and went into 30 hour a week training.
She’s been sending video messages to pupils at Humphrey Davy throughout her training.
Her old PE teacher Kate Finch, from St Hilary, said: “Helen was always athletic but her determination and her humility was always outstanding.
“She listened to what she was told and tried her darndest. She never missed a match and never missed training.”
Local MP Andrew George said: “Both Helen Glover and Heather Stanning were outstanding, dominating as they did from the start.
“Everyone in West Cornwall had confidence in Helen.
“But, after previous dashed hopes for Team GB, I began to fear that we had become jinxed!
“It was a great relief and I became caught up in the emotion and relief of the victory; no doubt like many others.
“The Glover family are well known and admired locally.
“I remember Helen and her twin brother Nathan (who came to work in my office for a while two years ago) when they were youngsters.
“Helen’s victory will be universally celebrated in the Penzance area.”