Page last updated at 10:46 GMT, Wednesday, 27 August 2008 11:46 UK

Town welcomes Olympic gold hero

Rebecca Adlington in Mansfield
Thousands turned out to cheer Rebecca Adlington

Double gold medal winner Rebecca Adlington has been given a hero's welcome in her home town.

More than 10,000 people lined the streets of Mansfield in Nottinghamshire to see the 19-year-old swimmer touring the town on an open top bus.

She arrived at the civic centre in a gold Rolls Royce and received a pair of designer shoes which had been promised to her by the mayor.

Adlington won two Olympic golds in the 400m and 800m freestyle in Beijing.

The swimmer broke the 800m world record set in 1989 - the year she was born.

'Nicer girl'

Crowds with banners, union flags and giant gold medals gathered in the Market Place where the open top bus trip finished.

Mayor Tony Eggington said: "To reach the very top of any sport requires years of hard work, focus and complete dedication - all traits which Rebecca has in abundance.

An open-top bus tours the town

"What's more, this success couldn't have happened to a nicer girl. Rebecca is a credit to herself, her family and Mansfield.

"Through the success of Rebecca we now have a golden opportunity to inspire even more young people to go on and achieve success, whether it is in sport or other walks of life. This is what hard work can achieve."

He presented the shoes - donated by designer Jimmy Choo - to the swimmer on a velvet cushion adorned with red, white and blue ribbons.

Adlington said she had been "overwhelmed" by the reaction.

"I don't think the world record is going to sink in for quite a while but the races, however, I have watched back enough - mum and dad keep playing them over and over again and he makes me watch the whole thing and I say, 'dad - I've seen it!'."

A giant screen was also put up in the Market Place which replayed Adlington's winning races.

She is the first British swimmer in 100 years to win two Olympic gold medals.

Her intensive training schedule has seen her get up at 0500 every day and spend 30 hours a week in the pool.

Coach Bill Furniss said: "Once the competitions have finished she's allowed a few treats.

"I know she's dying for a McDonald's."

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Rebecca Adlington receives her Jimmy Choo shoes




SEE ALSO
Golden girl brings pride to town
26 Aug 08 |  Nottinghamshire
In Pictures: Rebecca Adlington returns
26 Aug 08 |  In Pictures
Pub named in medallist's honour
24 Aug 08 |  Nottinghamshire
Adlington storms to second gold
16 Aug 08 |  Swimming
Adlington sets new Olympic record
14 Aug 08 |  Swimming
Adlington snatches swimming gold
11 Aug 08 |  Swimming

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