A gymnast who was forced to give up her dream of representing Britain in the Olympics achieved another aim when she worked as a hairdresser for the competing athletes.
Danielle Avery, from Horsforth, was forced to abandon her hopes due to an injury. But the trainee stylist still played a part in London 2012 after winning a competition to use her hairdressing skills in salons at the Olympic Park.
Now the teenager is following a different dream after being offered a job by one of the stylists at the Olympic salon to work for his London organisation, Organics.
Danielle, 18, who competed in gymnastics at a high level for many years, won a place at the Games by describing why she wanted to be there.
She said: “Due to an injury, I won’t fulfil my dream of competing for Great Britain in the Olympics. The opportunity to work at the Games, however, would mean just as much to me – I would be a part of British history, work with some fantastic stylists and put my heart and soul into my work.”
She was picked along with Laurie Wing, 21, from Otley, out of hundreds of applicants from around the UK. The two were both studying hairdressing at the Leeds City College’s Horsforth Campus, and won their places at the Olympics after entering a competition run by Podium, the Further and Higher Education Unit for the 2012 Games.
Laurie and Danielle met a host of celebrities, politicians and members of the Royal Family, including Prince Edward, Tony Blair, Eddie Izzard and broadcasters from across the world. The salons were also visited by Olympic heroes, including Jessica Ennis and Usain Bolt.
They both describe their time at the Games as “an amazing experience and one we will never forget”.
Laurie, who is returning to her education in Horsforth, has also enjoyed success supporting an Olympic salon stylist on a photo shoot, which will be featured in the Times magazine. She has also been asked to help out with further photo shoots in London.
Laurie said: “It was amazing. I absolutely loved it.”