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Home   Kent   Sport   Article

Former Maidstone schoolgirl Lizzy Yarnold parades through Kent with the gold medal she won in the skeleton at the Winter Olympics in Sochi

21 March 2014
by Steve Tervet

Olympic champion Lizzy Yarnold received a hero's welcome on her bus tour through Kent on Friday.

Yarnold, who won skeleton gold in Sochi, was greeted by crowds of cheering pupils at several schools in the west of the county.

Lizzy Yarnold with pupils from West Kingsdown CE Primary School

Lizzy Yarnold with pupils from West Kingsdown CE Primary School

And many people took to the streets to salute the former Maidstone Grammar School for Girls student, who posed for pictures and spoke to supporters.

The bus route took in Sevenoaks, Otford, Eynsford and the iconic Brands Hatch circuit before finishing at West Kingsdown C of E Primary School.

The open top bus reaches Brands Hatch Picture Andy Payton

The open top bus reaches Brands Hatch Picture: Andy Payton

Yarnold said: "It's been a lot of fun. It's really surprised me how many people in the local community have come out on the streets. When they're driving along, they're honkng their horns. I think they're proud of what I've achieved and they're a part of it as well.

"It does mean a lot and it surprises me all the time, that it's not just me that cares about winning and representing my country, it's everyone."

Lizzy Yarnold presented with a gold post box Picture Andy Payton

Lizzy Yarnold presented with a gold post box Picture: Andy Payton

Yarnold was presented with a miniature gold postbox in West Kingsdown and her open-top bus was followed by the Arriva bus which was sprayed gold to commemorate her Sochi success.

Her skeleton win meant Great Britain have now won medals in that event in the last four Winter Olympics. Alex Coomber claimed bronze in 2002, Shelley Rudman took silver in 2006 and Amy Williams won gold in 2010.

Lizzy Yarnold speaks to sports reporter Steve Tervet Picture Andy Payton

Lizzy Yarnold speaks to sports reporter Steve Tervet Picture: Andy Payton

So what is it about Brits in the skeleton?

"It's down to so many things," Yarnold said. "We've got a great programme, we pick the best talent through the talent searches at UK Sport.

"I think we can go from strength to strength and hopefully I'll defend it in Pyeongchang."

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