Olympic medallist Mary King helps reward First Ottery Guides achievers

PUBLISHED: 13:51 19 December 2008 | UPDATED: 11:59 17 June 2010

DOUBLE Olympic medallist Mary King helped reward the achievements of First Ottery Guides members on Tuesday night.

DOUBLE Olympic medallist Mary King helped reward the achievements of First Ottery Guides members on Tuesday night.

Former King's School pupil Mary, 47, who bagged a bronze medal in the team equestrian event at this summer's Beijing games, surprised Guides as she turned up at the group's Winters Lane Headquarters to hand out Baden-Powell awards.

Delighted Guides listened intently to a few words of wisdom from the five-time Olympian before jumping at the chance to get their hands on the bronze she picked up in August and grab an autograph.

Mary, who also won Olympic silver in Athens in 2004 and is now based in Salcombe Regis, gave the girls an encouraging message: "everything is possible but you have to work hard."

She added: "I have a lot of memories of Ottery, I went to school here and I was always dead keen to ride as a lot of young girls are. I've never really grown out of it.

"I've always set myself goals to achieve ..and even had to work on a butchers delivery round on Sidford to be able to keep horses at one point."

To applause, Mary revealed she hopes to add to her medal haul in London in 2012. She said: "I'm getting a bit old now, but still really love it and want to keep going for four more years to get a gold. I still have the same excitement as in the beginning."

Guide leader Eve Townson said: "It was fantastic for her (Mary) to give up her time to spend with them, she has such a busy life style. I hope she can be an inspiration to the girls to try their best, be determined and follow their dreams. "

Six guides were handed Baden-Powell awards which mark the completion of ten different challenges. Recipients (pictured) are Olivia Kennaway, 15, Alic Holden, 15, Maria Mylne, 14, Charlotte Chamberlain, 14, Michelle Cook, 16, Lucy Reeves,

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