Get involved: send your pictures, video, news and views by texting IGNEWS to 80360, or email
Rapturous response singing her praises
Lizzie’s Olympic achievement was met with a rapturous response back in her home town, where old friends, business and civic leaders, schools and pubs have been falling over themselves to sing her praises.
The former Whartons Primary pupil promised children at the school – during a visit in January – that if she won an Olympic medal, she would take it back to show them.
So headteacher, Jane Sanders, is really looking forward to welcoming the heroic cyclist back for a second time this year.
She said: “I’m very pleased for Lizzie – her performance in the women’s Olympic road race was amazing.
“She is an inspiration to all here at The Whartons, and everyone here will have been cheering her on to victory on Sunday.
“We are all so very proud of Lizzie, and look forward to welco-ming her back to the school with her medal. Congratulations Lizzie, from all your fans here at The Whartons!”
One pub was so delighted with Lizzie’s effort it has renamed itself The Lizzie Armitstead for the rest of the Games, with a temporary sign professing its pride due to go up yesterday.
Greg Silverwood, who runs Bar Rocca in Orchard Gate, said: “This is just a celebration of the pride we’re taking in the achievements of someone from an age group that usually gets a bad press.
“Lizzie put in such a phenomenal performance, it’s the least we can do. We haven’t changed our name for other, national events, but this is such an Otley-based achievement.”
The bar’s Facebook page adds: “This is the first time in our history we will have changed our name, and we hope this shows how proud we are of both Lizzie and her performance.”
One town resident watching the race with particular interest was former Otley Sports Council chairman, John Morgan, who used to organise Otley Micro Triathlons to get children interested in sport – one of which was won by a young Lizzie Armitstead.
John said: “One hopes this may have been the key for her to go on to greater things.”
Lizzie’s win also gave Otley sculptor Shane Green, who is head of art at her former secondary school, extra inspiration as he attempts to complete 18 chainsaw sculptures – each showing a different sport – in London’s parks during the Olympics.
Toast of the town
Pool-in-Wharfedale brewery Wharfebank has celebrated Lizzie’s success by creating its own special Medal Pursuit ale.
The beer, also in support of all our local Olympians, is already going down well at the brewery’s Otley pub, The Fleece.
WharfeBank Brewery’s managing director Martin Kellaway said: “We love being based in Yorkshire and are proud of the region.
“Lizzie’s success further highlights this area is full of ambition and determination. We were behind her from the start and love what she’s achieved, and wanted to mark it with something fitting in our own special way.
“We think it’s key she knows how proud her town is of her, and we hope she gets the chance to come and have a drink when she gets back!”