NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Olympics gold: Rower Heather Stanning 'overjoyed'

Scotland's Heather Stanning said she was "overjoyed" to win Team GB's first Gold Medal at the 2012 Olympics.

Lossiemouth's Stanning, and rowing partner Helen Glover, triumphed in the women's pair - the first British female rowers to win an Olympic title.

She is a former pupil of Gordonstoun School in Moray, where Zara Phillips - who won silver in equestrian team eventing on Tuesday - also studied.

Capt Stanning, 27, a Royal Artillery officer, said: "I'm so overjoyed."

She said: "I want to collapse. I'm probably talking rubbish now.

"We've got out ahead throughout the season and we wanted to do that today, and not give anything back. Helen was telling me to keep on going.

"The Army has been amazing giving me the time I need to train. I am really proud of being part of the forces, and the Army has been fantastic in supporting me to get me to where I am.

"Thanks for all the support in Afghanistan, I'm so proud to be associated with you."

Her Commanding Officer, Lieut Col Craig Palmer, said: "We are delighted with Heather's win.

"Soldiers from 32nd Regiment Royal Artillery were thrilled to watch the race from their bases in Afghanistan, while their friends and families watched it here in the UK.

"I am sure that they have been inspired by her performance and we look forward to welcoming her back to the Regiment later this year. I know that she is keen to deploy with her soldiers to Helmand in 2013."

'No surprise'

Simon Reid, Gordonstoun's principal, said: "Both Heather and Zara have achieved at the highest level in their chosen sport and I am immensely proud of them.

"To be chosen to represent your country is a huge achievement in itself but to win a medal is the icing on the cake.

Stamp
Royal Mail said a special stamp would be available by Thursday lunchtime

"With our new sports complex due for completion later this year, I have no doubt their example will inspire our students to make full use of it."

Richard Devey, Stanning's PE teacher, said: "Heather was a very powerful all-round, natural athlete and games player. She was very hard-working and always had a huge smile on her face. She still holds some school athletic records.

"It is no surprise to me that she has done so well at the Olympics. She was always destined to go far in the sporting world."

Gold post box

Scottish Sports Minister Shona Robison said: "What a fantastic achievement for Heather and Helen to bring home Team GB's first gold medal in such emphatic style.

"I have no doubt that the people of her home town of Lossiemouth will be leading the nationwide celebrations of this brilliant victory."

Scottish Secretary Michael Moore said: "Heather and Helen deserve huge admiration from everyone for their dedication and grit in getting across the line first and winning our first gold medal in this Olympics."

Meanwhile, Royal Mail said a special stamp to celebrate the win would be available by Thursday lunchtime.

Royal Mail will also paint one of its red post boxes gold in Lossiemouth.

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