Beds, Herts & Bucks

Etienne Stott renames Bedford white water arena

Media captionAs a young man, Etienne Stott trained at a centre close to the arena now named in his honour

Olympic champion Etienne Stott has been cheered by fans during an open-top bus parade through Bedford and renamed a white water arena in his honour.

Stott, along with his partner Tim Bailey, won gold in the C2 canoe slalom at the 2012 Olympic Games.

On Saturday, he officially renamed Duckmill Weir as the Etienne Stott White Water Arena.

It is a short distance from the Viking Kayak Club, where Stott spent many hours training as a young man.

Thousands of people lined the streets of Stott's home town, with Gamesmakers, torchbearers and those involved in pre-games training camps in the borough joining him on the bus.

"This is what it's all about - the connection between the athletes and the British public," said Stott.

"Bedford has supported me all the way and it's great to pay it back a little bit."

The Duckmill Weir White Water Arena on the River Great Ouse in Bedford opened in May 2012 after permanent slalom uprights, lines and gates were added to the Duck Mill weir.

The council had said renaming the facility would "ensure a legacy" for Stott's achievements.

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