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Downham Market youngsters meet double Olympic gold medallist Sarah Ayton

17:00 20 April 2012

Olympian Sarah Ayton shows off her gold medals to Downham Market High School pupils Beth Brown and Chris Sharp. Picture: Matthew Usher.

Olympian Sarah Ayton shows off her gold medals to Downham Market High School pupils Beth Brown and Chris Sharp. Picture: Matthew Usher.

© Archant Norfolk 2012

Youngsters got a closer look at two gold medals when an Olympic champion visited their school today.

During her visit to Downham Market High School, Sarah Ayton led an assembly where she shared her journey from high school pupil to world champion and also let pupils hold her Olympic gold medals.

Sarah is one of Britain’s best-known sailors having won gold in the Yngling class in both Athens and Beijing and having twice been crowned world champion.

She is married to Norwich-born windsurfer Nick Dempsey who has already secured his place on Team GB at this summer’s Games.

Sarah, who visited the school as part of sailing sponsor Volvo’s 100-day Olympic tour, said: “It’s been nice to share with them that I was just a normal kid at school and that if you have a goal and a dream and work really hard then you can achieve it.

“Hopefully my talk about my Olympic journey has inspired some of the children. Every Olympian I have ever spoken to has had someone that has inspired them so even if my story inspired just one person in that assembly hall then that is a good thing.”

Barry Collins, head of PE at the mixed school, added: “The students really enjoyed meeting an Olympian and having the chance to touch her medals.

“Her talk was inspiring for everyone. To see and hear what it is like to be an Olympian, to win a gold medal and be around the Olympic village was just brilliant.”

Look out for the next edition of London Calling, a free monthly guide to the Games, which will appear in the EDP on Tuesday, April 24.

To see previous Olympic-related stories click on the London Calling logo on the top of this page.

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