Britain Secures First 2012 Gold Medals in Rowing, Cycling

Britain’s Helen Glover (left) and Heather Stanning became Team GB’s first gold medals in the 2012 games after winning the women’s pair rowing final. (Stephen Pond/PA Wire, Press Association via AP Images)

The drought is over: host nation Great Britain has finally collected some gold to place alongside the bronze and silver medals it has already won. British rowing duo Helen Glover and Heather Stanning captured Team GB’s first gold medal of the Games today (August 1) with their historic win in the Women’s Rowing Pair finals. As BBC Sport notes, they are first female British rowers to ever achieve Olympic gold.

After her team’s victory, Glover told the BBC: “I don’t remember smiling as I never ever thought we’ve got it.

“We kidded ourselves that there was no pressure. The last thing we said to each other was ‘it’s just for us, it’s just for us’, but it was for the whole of the team and the whole of the country .

“Now we’ve finished we can say there was pressure; there was expectation.

“We hope this is the start of things to come from the Great Britain team. It’s just brilliant. I hope the crowd really enjoyed today.”

And indeed their win was the beginning of good things for Team GB, as Tour de France champion Bradley Wiggins followed up the rowing team’s triumph with his own gold in the cycling time trial.

Bradley Wiggins on his way to his fourth cycling Olympic gold and his British record-breaking seventh medal. (Rex Features via AP)

Wiggins now holds seven Olympic medals — four golds, a silver and two bronzes — making him the most decorated British Olympian ever. Rower Sir Steve Redgrave was the previous record holder with six.

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks

Kevin Wicks founded's Anglophenia blog back in 2005 and has been translating British culture for an American audience ever since. While not British himself—he was born and raised in St. Louis, Missouri—he once received inordinate hospitality in London for sharing the name of a dead but beloved EastEnders character. His Anglophilia stems from a high school love of Morrissey, whom he calls his "gateway drug" into British culture.
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