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Surprise welcome home for Hampshire Olympic heroine Dani King
CROWDS tonight flocked to a Hampshire village to welcome home Olympic gold medallist Dani King.
The new queen of track cycling arrived in Hamble with her parents, Trevor and Lynn, to a champion’s welcome.
Everyone from children to pensioners started gathering in The Square up to an hour before Dani arrived for the surprise gathering.
Dani was visibly overwhelmed as she caught sight of the hundreds of people who had packed in to meet their new idol after dad Trevor had spread the word that she would be home.
As she made her way through the crowds to see the postbox painted gold in her honour the noise was deafening. Children blew horns and people, who showed off banners and medals they made at home to greet her, cheered loudly.
Dressed in her London 2012 Team GB tracksuit with her gold medal proudly hanging around her neck she did not stop smiling and took more than an hour talking to friends and strangers, signing autographs and posing for photographs with the villagers.
Youngsters, who wore red, white and blue for the occasion, beamed as they got up close to her gold medal and got their new found idol to sign their belongings.
The 21-year-old former Hamble Community Sports College and Barton Peveril pupil stormed to victory in the women’s team pursuit with team-mates Laura Trott and Joanne Rowsell last Saturday on one of the greatest days of Olympic success Great Britain has ever seen.
Dani told the Daily Echo: “It is absolutely incredible, I can't believe it. Dad said he told about six people and look how many people are here. I am so happy, it was a complete surprise.”
One of her supporters had come from Gosport to meet her idol.
Georgina Cook, 18, a student, said: "She spoke to me and said thanks for coming. It is amazing to be here and to meet an Olympian. She is a true inspiration."
The cycling sensation ended the evening at a welcome home reception in a village pub.