Kent's Lizzy Yarnold has been chosen to carry the Union flag and lead the GB team at the Winter Olympics closing ceremony
Former Maidstone schoolgirl Lizzy Yarnold
Kent’s Lizzy Yarnold has been chosen to carry the Union flag and lead the GB team at today's closing ceremony at the Sochi Winter Olympics.
The 25-year-old former Maidstone Grammar School for Girls student, from West Kingsdown, won Great Britain's first gold medal of the Olympics when she claimed victory in the women's skeleton competition.
Yarnold went into the Games as one of Team GB's brightest medal hopes and she lived up to expectations by blowing away the rest of the field.
She was chosen to carry the flag, as winner of one of only 10 gold medals in British Winter Olympic history, by Team GB chief Mike Hay and his deputies.
She will be joined at the ceremony by her 55 team-mates including the men's curling rink, who won silver, their bronze medal-winning female counterparts and snowboarder Jenny Jones, who won bronze.
She said: "Being the flag bearer at the closing ceremony is totally unexpected but a massive honour because I’m not only representing Skeleton as I usually do on the World Cup events but coming to the Olympics where the team is so big and we’ve got four medals now already with still events to go, it’s terribly overwhelming to be honest, I’m just so glad that I was chosen and very, very proud to do it."
"I’m still not used to it (being called Olympic champion). It will take a long, long time to sink in but I think just having a chance to meet lots and lots of new people, meeting children back in the UK, families were coming up to me in London saying we watched your event, we were so happy for you, we were screaming at the top of our lungs stood in the kitchen. That’s the reality of it, it actually has filtered through to normal people’s lives. They now know about the Winter Olympics, they know that a normal person, a strong determined woman, can get a gold medal."
She added: "You dream of the Olympics, you have these dreams that you plan for, for such a long time. They take a long time to come but then they pass quite quickly. But going back home I think that’s when the real dream will come alive because for me, the passion is in passing my gold medals around in schools, showing people and seeing the pride in their eyes lighting up."
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