Hucknall gymnast Becky Downie stands tall this week as one of an elite band of athletes who graced Glasgow at the Commonwealth Games.
Becky (22) followed up her success in helping the England women’s artistic team to victory, reported in last week’s Dispatch, by bagging a second gold medal in the final of the uneven bars.
And that meant she was one of only 13 sportsmen and women from the UK’s home nations to win more than one gold at the Games.
No wonder she was treated to a rousing homecoming this week when greeted by teammates at the Notts Gymnastics Academy, and by family, friends and fans.
They included mum Helen, who oozed pride from the family home off Nottingham Road, Hucknall, and also inspirational coach Claire Starkey, who was full of praise for Becky’s achievements.
“It hasn’t really sunk in what I’ve done,” she said. “But it was a really special week.
“From an individual perspective, bars was the one piece I wanted a title for. That was my big ambition.
“I was actually a little disappointed with my score, but I did upgrade my routine slightly. I couldn’t really have given any more.”
Becky posted 14.666 points to finish just ahead of Australia’s Larissa Miller, who was second, and England teammate Ruby Harrold, who took bronze.
Becky also reached the final of the beam, in which she won a bronze medal at the Commonwealth Games in Melbourne eight years ago. But this time, she suffered three falls and finished in eighth and last place.
“Worst beam routine of my life!” she tweeted to her 11,800 followers on Twitter.
“But I am still double Commonweallth Games gold medallist!”
She also tweeted: “I’ve had a brilliant time in Glasgow and I’ve shared it with the best people.”
Among those people were Team England’s other gymnastics stars of the games, Claudia Fragapane, who won four gold medals, and Max Whitlock, who won three golds. She posed for a photo with the duo, which is sure to take pride of place in the family album.
Since Glasgow, Becky has also been thrust into the limelight, taking in multiple interviews and photo-shoots.
It’s all a far cry from her days as a seven-year-old when she first tried the sport at Bigwood Gymnastics Club near Top Valley.
“I had previously done ballet and tap dancing, but that didn’t really work out,. so I decided to try gymnastics,” Becky recalled.. “A school friend did it, so I thought I would give it a go.”
So spectacularly well has Becky progressed since then that she will go down in history as one of this country’s finest gymnasts.
Her feats in Glasgow followed gold and silver at the European Championships earlier this year. And now she hopes to complete a memorable year with more glory at the world championships, to be held in Nanning, China in early October.
The massive disappointment she suffered two years ago when she wasn’t selected for the British team for the London 2012 Olympic Games is almost forgotten now.
Instead Becky Downie is revelling in her success -- and very much living up to her personal motto, which reads: “Practice makes perfect. If you don’t train hard, you don’t get the results.”
But d medal.
The CasBecky also won support this week from British gymnastics legend, Beth Tweddle.