Cornwall’s modest Olympic maiden slept with her Gold medal ‘by her pillow’ – so when she woke up this morning she would realise it wasn’t all a dream.
Newlyn’s very own ‘Supergirl’ Helen Glover wowed the nation yesterday when she and rowing pair Heather Stanner beat off Australia to win rowing Gold at Eton Dorney.
It was the UK’s first gold medal, and heralded in a road race gold by Tour de France winner Bradley Wiggins.
Helen said this morning she slept the night with her medal by her pillow and admitted “it hasn’t really sunk in yet”
The 26 year old PE teacher said: “I feel like it’s happened to someone else. We’re both in a bit of a daze.
“We watched it when we got in. It was quite late last night but we both just watched it once.
“We can’t really remember the race because we were quite in the zone and in our own boat, but when we watched it back we thought: ‘Oh, that’s quite good’”.
The sporty ex-Humphrey Davy pupil also revealed she ‘stood on tiptoes’ to make Steve Redgrave’s ‘Sporting Giants’ selection back in 2008 – the intense 30 hour-a-week training programme which led up to her Olympic glory.
She said: “It’s kind of true. I was half an inch too short so I stood on my tip toes to get in, and thankfully I did.”
She said her partner Heather, an Army captain, complemented her perfectly because: “I’m very messy, she’s very organised: I’m very emotional, she’s quite solid as a rock.”
“She owes me her a pair of sunglasses because she knocked mine off my head yesterday out celebrating!”
Helen is one of five Cornish children, born to Jimmy and Rachel Glover.
Rachel told the Times today: “She’s just one of those annoying people who can do most sports.”
“She’s one of five children and everything in life was a competition: who can run up the stairs to bed first or playing games on the beach. No one ever wanted to come second.”
Helen has twin brothers, Benjamin and Nathan, and sisters Freya and Ruth.
Her boyfriend Paddy Hogben, a rugby coach, said: “She’s hard as hell and gets sport.”
And he revealed: “I took her to play golf on one of our first dates and she smashed me.”
Helen’s 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.”
Her old PE teacher Kate Finch, from St Hilary, added: “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: “Everyone in West Cornwall had confidence in Helen.
“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.”