Mid Wales

Josie Pearson: Hay-on-Wye homecoming celebration

Hundreds of people have lined the streets of a town to welcome home Paralympic discus gold medallist Josie Pearson.

The 26-year-old from Hay-on-Wye, Powys, broke the world record with a 6.8m throw in last Friday's final to claim her first London 2012 Games gold.

A homecoming reception was held at a hotel in the early evening.

Pearson suffered spinal injuries in a car crash in 2003 which killed her boyfriend.

Royal Mail painted a post box in her home town on Monday and a gold medal stamp is being produced in honour of her achievements.

Pearson was presented with a Welsh gold bracelet by the community in honour of her achievements.

Local councillor Gareth Ratcliffe said local businesses had paid for Tuesday night's reception.

"We're expecting between 600 and 700 people to line the streets to welcome Josie home," he added.

"As a small community we remember Josie's sad times, but through her achievements she is an inspiration and a beacon of light to people. She's an absolute gem."

Pearson was appearing in her second Paralympic Games after playing wheelchair rugby in Beijing four years ago.

She then focused on athletics, competing in wheelchair racing in the world championships last year before switching to discus.

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