Family celebrate an Olympic gold

A GOLDEN triumph in Athens was celebrated with extra special enthusiasm in an East Anglian village.Sarah Ayton, one of the three-woman sailing team that won an Olympic gold for Britain, was roared to victory by family members in Stradbroke, near Eye.

By David Green

A GOLDEN triumph in Athens was celebrated with extra special enthusiasm in an East Anglian village.

Sarah Ayton, one of the three-woman sailing team that won an Olympic gold for Britain, was roared to victory by family members in Stradbroke, near Eye.

She is the granddaughter of George and Bridget Calver, who live in the village, and niece of Angeline Parry who runs Stradbroke Post Office.


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Mrs Parry said she had used the internet to follow the race which confirmed the trio as Olympic champions - because it was not being televised.

"I found myself shouting for joy standing alone in the middle of my lounge," she said.

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Sarah, 24, is the daughter of Mrs Parry's sister, Coleen, who lives in Ashford, Middlesex.

Mrs Parry said: "My sister was over the moon with excitement when I spoke to her on the phone

"I haven't seen Sarah for six months because she is always out of the country. She had been training hard for the Olympics and was very excited about going to Athens."

"She was aiming to do well and she will feel on top of the world now she has got a gold medal."

The Olympic champion - described by colleagues as a "natural sailor" - was brought up near Heathrow Airport and started sailing at the age of six at the nearby Queen Mary Reservoir.

She had become a member of the British youth squad by the time she was 18 and was selected for the world youth championships in South Africa, winning a silver medal.

Sarah was a member of the three-woman team that won the pre-Olympic regatta in Athens, which was also the scene for the subsequent Olympic triumph.

She lives in Weymouth with her partner, Nick Dempsey, who was born in Norwich and also won an Olympic medal, a bronze for sailboarding.

Her hobbies include golf and sailboarding with Nick.

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