Stephanie Millward in the 100m backstroke, the first of her 5 medals from the Games. Yesterday she came home to Corsham to where it all started: at Corsham ASC.
I've spent most of the Olympics and Paralympics caught between a major high and on the verge of tears at how well Team GB and Paralympic GB performed at the Games. Last night was no exception. I wasn't the only one: the mayor was pretty overcome too when the time came to welcome her back.
Stephanie was her usual poised and smiling self. In her speech she said:
These medals aren't mine, they're yours because all your support helped me to achieve them.
Everyone had a chance to wear a medal as they then made the rounds of the people who came out to cheer, including NAH and me. They're really heavy! I was told the 5 of them together weigh around 2.5 kilos. Stephanie was also an Olympic torch bearer in the relay, so we got the chance to hold that as well. Later on, I also got to see one from the Paralympics torch relay as P bought hers to choir :)
When I left Stephanie's homecoming an hour later, she was still surrounded by excited children asking her loads of questions. Her head could just be seen amongst them as she crouched down to talk to them all.
Update: Our local newspaper reports the town council have written to Royal Mail asking for Corsham's postbox to be painted silver in view of Stephanie's achievements as the GB athlete who's won the most medals from either the Olympics or Paralympic Games. I hope their request is granted. For those of you who don't know, all our gold medal winners have been honoured with a gold painted postbox in their home towns :)
Update 2 Sadly no silver postbox for Stephanie, but she was the first person ever to be granted the Freedom of Corsham in 2013.