HEATHER STANNING HAS been accorded the Freedom of Moray on her return home after winning a second Olympic Gold Medal.
The former Gordonstoun pupil returned to Moray today where she was presented with the Freedom scroll by Moray Council convener Allan Wright – becoming only the second individual in recent years to receive the honour.
Speaking after the ceremony at the Council Chamber today, Councillor Wright said of Lossiemouth’s most famous sportswoman: “Along with her rowing partner Helen Glover, Heather has achieved a magnificent feat in winning back-to-back Olympic gold medals and in London and again in Rio helped Great Britain to two of its biggest medal hauls in the history of the Olympic Games.
“Not only that, she and Helen were world pairs champions in 2014 and again in 2015 and they are also the reigning European champions.
“These are outstanding achievements of which Heather and Helen can be justifiably proud and we here in Moray share in that sense of enormous pride and it is an honour and a privilege for me to confer upon Heather the highest accolade this council can offer, the Freedom of Moray.”
Following the ceremony, Heather joined her parents on the short drive to Lossiemouth – where dozens awaited her arrival at the Town Hall.
Heather admitted that she and rowing partner Helen Glover “felt the pressure” in Rio, having been undefeated in any competitive race since their first gold medal win in London.
She said: “The pressure was certainly on us, as we were constantly being touted as gold medal certainties – but there is no such thing as a certainty in the Olympics and we were both very well aware of that.”
Asked if she and Helen talk to each other during a race she said: “Actually Helen talks a lot – and that’s a good thing, because if she is talking it is because we are doing so well that she is not having to use up maximum energy in rowing!”
This evening Heather will attend a private function in Lossiemouth before switching on new golden lights on the landmark Covesea Lighthouse at 8pm – with a flypast by an RAF Tornado expected at the same time.
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