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Return to reality for Olympic rowing champ
12:49pm Monday 24th September 2012 in News
OLYMPIC gold medallist Heather Stanning returned to reality last week, rejoining her army colleagues after a two-year spell with the GB Rowing Squad.
Captain Stanning, of 32 Regiment Royal Artillery, was welcomed back to Roberts Barracks, Larkhill , last week and is now preparing for deployment to Afghanistan. The Olympic champion started GB’s 2012 gold rush with Helen Glover in the coxless pairs on August 1, as they blew their opponents out of the water and made history by picking up the first ever GB gold medal in women’s rowing.
The 27-year-old said: “It’s really great to get back to normality and see the soldiers.
“The next few months are about me catching up with what I’ve missed and getting on the courses so I can be qualified for the various jobs required as a captain in the artillery.
“It all takes time to adjust but this is the job I want to do long-term and I need to take this opportunity.
“This is no place to be complacent, everyone’s got a job to do here and you’ve just got to get on with it.”
Capt Stanning set her sights on rowing seven years ago while she was studying Sports Technology at the University of Bath and is already thinking about the Rio de Janeiro Games in 2016.
“Four years is a long time away but it will come around very quickly,” she said. “The support everyone has shown has been amazing – I can’t thank the public enough, it’s been a wonderful past seven weeks.
“You’ve got to be so dedicated to stick at it and I’ve been going for two and half years, so why not try for a bit longer.” A proud Lieutenant Colonel Craig Palmer added: “We invested in a two-year journey to produce a gold medal. I was absolutely sure they were going to win and the margin of victory was mainly down to the amount of time invested.”