We headed to Penzance on Sunday to celebrate Helen Glover’s incredible Olympic journey.
Crowds lined the streets along the sea front, desperate to show their support for Newlyn’s own double Olympic gold medallist. From Harbour Car Park, past the golden letterbox (for Helen’s first Olympic gold win), along Battery Road and in front of the entrance to Jubilee Pool, all the way along the promenade, the air was filled with excitement and anticipation for Helen Glover’s arrival. Lots of children were clutching hand-made banners and outside the Dolphin Arms, Mount’s Bay Gig Club were standing ready with their oars held upright. Pirate FM had set up a stage in the Harbour Car Park and loudly played lots of Olympics themed, iconic songs like ‘We are the Champions’ by Queen. It was as though all of West Cornwall had turned up to support Helen.
We had a beautiful view of St Michael’s Mount behind us, but everyone was looking towards Newlyn, waiting for a glimpse of the open-top bus procession.
We spotted the buses making their way slowly along the promenade, they were decorated from head to toe with a huge Olympic medal and ‘Rio 2016’ banners. Lots of cheering filled the air, there were local children performing a celebratory dance. A very smiley Helen Glover was right at the front of the first bus, waving and shouting ‘thank you’ and proudly holding up her gold medal for all of Penzance to see. Her mum was with her, and in a Seasalt dress!
We thought her arms might get tired with all that waving, but then we remembered, she’s a double Olympic gold medal winning, champion rower!
Helen leapt off the bus to greet fans at The Dolphin Arms, and again at Harbour Car Park (which was by then packed!) where she gave an inspiring and moving speech. She then ran around signing autographs and chatting to the crowds, for almost an hour, before getting back on the bus to continue her victory parade through the town and on to her old school, Humphrey Davy.
Hear Helen’s speech to the crowds
It was clear that everyone had really enjoyed seeing their local, Olympic hero and that Helen, too, was truly moved by the event and very proud to be home in Penzance.
Congratulations, Helen. We’re incredibly proud!