Olympic success cheered by town
Published at 21:37, Wednesday, 08 August 2012
THE whole of Langholm was cheering as Olympic rower Katherine Copeland took gold in the women’s lightweight double sculls.
But one woman, who lives in the town, had an extra special reason to be excited.
Lilian Park is Copeland’s great aunt and she says she is delighted for her great niece’s success.
Copeland, from Ashington in Northumberland, has a number of family members from Langholm and Mrs Park said she has been receiving phone calls non-stop since Copeland took gold on Saturday.
She said: “I’m speechless just like everyone else – I couldn’t believe it.
“The Langholm folk are delighted and we’ve been getting so many phone calls.
“It means such a lot to us and to Langholm. Her dad is ecstatic as well.”
The 21-year-old’s racing partner was Sophie Hosking and the pair were not expected to triumph in their race.
Between them they had won a World Cup silver medal and Copeland admitted that two months ago she never thought of the prospect of winning.
She said: “I can’t believe this is real, that we just won.
“I’ve been trying all week not to think about it because it’s made me cry every time. I can’t believe that just happened.”
In the final, they started quickly but Greece opened up a slight advantage in the opening quarter of the race at Eton Dorney, with China going through the mark in second.
Britain moved up to second by halfway and then put in a devastating burst to sprint away from the field and win in seven minutes 9.30 seconds, with the fast-finishing China pipping Greece on the line.
Copeland’s grandfather, John Copeland, is another connection to the Langholm area.
He was a member of the Langholm rugby team which won their championship in 1958/59.
Other relatives in the town include sporting brothers Gregor and Graham Park.
Royal Mail has produced a stamp for every Team GB winner. The stamps feature images of the winning athletes during competition or victory ceremonies
This is the first time any postal service has produced next day stamps featuring images of the winners from the final.
Other Scots to succeed as part of Team GB in the London 2012 Olympics include Andy Murray, who won gold in the men’s single tennis and a silver in the mixed doubles, cyclist Sir Chris Hoy MBE, rower Katherine Grainger, equestrian showjumper Scott Brash of Peebles and gymnast Dan Purvis.
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