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Paralympics golden girl Josie Pearson prepares for well-deserved Ibiza break
PARALYMPIC champion Josie Pearson is heading to Ibiza with her friends next week to celebrate her gold medal success.
Josie, from Cusop, admitted the past week had been ‘like a complete whirlwind’ after winning a gold medal in the women’s discuss at London 2012.
“I can’t believe I am back at home,” said 26-year-old Josie, who has now set her sights on next year’s World Championships.
“I have been away for five-and-a-half weeks and it was a bit strange waking up in my own bed on Tuesday morning.
“My family have bought 100 copies of each newspaper and my kitchen table is piled high with cuttings.”
Josie was among the 800 athletes who took part in The Greatest Team Parade watched by around one million people in London.
And she said: “I am looking forward to a few weeks off and I am off on holiday with some girlfriends to Ibiza.
“We have the world championships at the end of July next year.
“I have to retain my title and I would like to be the world champion in the club and the discus.”
Herefordshire Council and the Royal National College for the Blind are in talks about staging a reception for the county’s Paralympians.
And swimmers Nyree and Sascha Kindred, who both won silver medals, are keen to thank the county for their support.
“The Games, the opening and closing ceremonies and the parade were awesome,” said Nyree, who returned to Hereford on Tuesday.
“It’s back to reality and we’ve got to cook and do our own washing,” she said. “But it’s great for us to see Ella.
“It was a fantastic experience and the support has been amazing. We would like to say a big thank-you to everyone.”
Bronze medal-winning shooter James Bevis said he was close to tears during the London parade.
“It was overwhelming and it was hard to hold it in at one stage,” said James, who had his photograph taken with DJ Chris Moyles and singer Katherine Jenkins.
James moved to Devon earlier this year but says he will now be returning to live in the county.
Great Britain blind football team head coach Tony Larkin said RNC student Dan English had been their best player in the tournament.
“We will miss Dave Clarke but we have some really good youngsters who can fill his boots,” said Larkin, whose side finished seventh.
“Teams like Spain have older players and I feel that we can dominate Europe over these next four to five years.
“We have had lots of calls from parents wanting to know more about blind football and the Games have certainly raised the awareness of blind football.”
Golden girl Josie Pearson believes the Games have had a major impact on disability sport.
“I think the Paralympics broke down the barriers to people who thought it would be a sideshow to the Olympics.
“It showed that - like Olympians - Paralympians are elite athletes, too.
“People looked beyond the disability and saw elite sportsmen and women giving it their all.”
l Send your messages to Herefordshire’s Paralympic heroes @HTnewsroom or the Hereford Times Facebook page.