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Page last updated at 11:17 GMT, Thursday, 16 October 2008 12:17 UK

Gold hero Staff honoured by town

Jamie Staff
Jamie Staff began riding his BMX round the streets of Ashford

Olympic gold medallist Jamie Staff has been made an ambassador for sport by his home town of Ashford, Kent during a special ceremony in his honour.

The 35-year-old was part of the men's team sprint team that raced to gold early in the Beijing Games.

He told BBC Radio Kent: "Its good to let kids know it's obtainable.

"I think often they look at the Olympics and think the athletes on the telly are super humans that are born somewhere else."

He added: "It's just real-life people who knuckle down and get on with the task ahead and achieve something great."

Before the ceremony, Staff had the chance to meet some of the town's schoolchildren.

Jamie coming home with an Olympic gold medal is fantastic and it's very inspiring for myself

Athlete Lisa Dobriskey

"Hopefully I've had some impact on some of the kids here and hopefully they'll be more possible Olympians from this area in the future," he said.

"My heart is still here even though I'm tied to other places for certain times of the year. I enjoy Ashford and love riding round the area.

"It's been an overwhelming day with the reception I've had."

Ashford's 1500m Commonwealth champion Lisa Dobriskey - who finished fourth in Beijing - was also at the ceremony.

She said: "Jamie coming home with an Olympic gold medal is fantastic and it's very inspiring for myself."

Gerry Clarkson from Ashford Borough Council told BBC Radio Kent he hoped role models like Staff and Dobriskey would inspire the town's young people.

The celebrations continue for Staff on Thursday as he joins Great Britain's other Olympic heroes in a parade through London.


see also
Team GB's roll of honour
23 Aug 08 |  Beijing 2008
GB Olympic heroes welcomed home
25 Aug 08 |  Beijing 2008
Awesome GB sprint team take gold
15 Aug 08 |  Cycling
Staff aiming for gold in Beijing
01 Apr 08 |  Cycling


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