“What Amy taught me very early on was that she was just a normal girl who never gave up.”
Lizzy Yarnold has never been shy in admitting her admiration for her past teammate, current landlord and, as of February 14, fellow Olympic gold medallist Amy Williams.
Though it seems the lessons that Yarnold has learnt from the 31-year-old have not been restricted to the track.
Yarnold had actually returned home from Russia a few days before Sochi’s closing ceremony, where she was Team GB’s flag bearer, to film the Jonathon Ross show.
The trip came almost a week after she had blown her competition away for the top step on the podium – but just like Williams, she had remained grounded throughout.
In fact, it was only when the 25-year-old came face-to-face with captivated Team GB fans on London’s streets that she became aware of the extent of her achievement.
“At about 11.30am I had half an hour free from where I was staying between the Millennium Bridge and the London Eye,” Yarnold said.
“I wondered along in very inconspicuous clothing with my medal tucked under my t-shirt, where it always is in case I lose it.
“A little girl came up and said ‘excuse me, are you the Olympian Lizzy’ and it was such a shock because I was thinking how on earth did you recognise me?
“So of course I stopped for a picture, had a little chat and shook her hand. Then a few more people came towards me asking for more pictures and at that moment it started to mean so much more because I realised I had impacted their lives.
“They had remembered me and my race, seen me give everything for Team GB – it was their win as well as mine.
“Later on when I was waiting to get picked up, a French lady came up to me but unfortunately I can’t speak French so her daughter was translating - we had a nice, little triangle conversation going on.
“I realised it’s not only the children it affects but also adults and not just British people, it’s international.
“So signing autographs in the middle of London is certainly new to me but it’s wonderful.
“When I’ve autographed a few of the posters for the other GB athletes, it was quite a brave moment the first time I wrote Lizzy Yarnold, Olympic champion.”
© Sportsbeat 2014