Going for gold
Date published: 22 October 2013
Inspiring words and a shiny gold medal helped former Olympic champion Denise Lewis OBE to impress children at St Thomas’s Primary, Werneth — and boost their passion for sport.
Denise, heptathlon champion at Sydney in 2000, answered questions from the school’s youngsters in a visit organised by Youth Sport Trust (YST), which offers schools information, resources, training and events to encourage the take up of sport.
Denise looked at how St Thomas’s has used its Youth Sport Trust membership to create better exercise opportunities for pupils.
The children asked Denise (41) about her training schedule, whether she used to get nervous before races, why she became an athlete and why she decided to retire.
Denise, who is a member of the England Athletics Hall of Fame, said she realised she wanted to become an athlete when she was eight, so joined a local running club.
Of her Olympic win she said: “My heart was bursting with pride as I stood on that podium in front of a packed stadium with the national anthem playing. It was raining, I always remember that. It is a day I will never forget.
“I started training to be an athlete when I was eight and it was 20 years later when I won Olympic gold. I spent 20 years training hard, six days a week, twice a day. If you practise something over and over again, there is no way you will not get better at it. I urge young people to find something they are good at and develop and practise your skill.”
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