Friday, September 7, 2012
heather stanning, olympic military.
captain heather stanning of the 32nd regiment royal artillery,
along with her rowing partner, helen glover, won the host country's
first gold medal of the london games &
team gb's first-ever gold medal in women's rowing.
five days into competition, brits were growing rather anxious
about their lack of golden olympic awards.
but then along came stanning & glover, with a time of 7.27:13 in the coxless pairs,
besting not only the silvering aussies [great band name, yes?],
but also the bronze-earning new zealanders, who had beat them
out of the gold at the world championships in 2010 & 2011.
stanning began rowing in 2004 at the university of bath,
where she was attending as part of the university officer training corps.
she went on to the royal military academy sandhurst &
was commissioned into the royal artillery in 2008.
in 2009, she was paired with 26yo former pe teacher glover,
who had never rowed until 2008, when she entered the
national lottery-funded sporting giants talent identification program.
sporting giants identified glover's talent as rowing. they were spot-on.
with stanning temporarily released from her army duties
in order to train full-time for the olympics,
the two won silver medals [behind new zealand, remember]
at the 2010 & 2011 world championships, & have been unbeaten this season,
gaining gold at all three world cup races &
setting an olympic record with their winning heat time.
the captain's army colleagues were permitted to take a break from training
exercises to watch her & her rowing mate win the gold 3,000 miles away.
stanning, whose parents were royal navy officers &
whose brothers are both in the british military,
returns this month to begin training for a future post in afghanistan,
a source of national pride, twice over.