27 Jul 13

Olympic judo star drops in to give Bridgwater club a lift

Olympic silver medal judoka, Gemma Gibbons, threw her weight behind local martial arts enthusiasts when she appeared at EDF Energy's Visitor Centre in Bridgwater's Angel Place shopping centre in Somerset last Saturday morning (27 July).

Would-be martial arts champions from the ForLife martial arts academy at Bridgwater YMCA were inspired by their chance to meet the Olympic star.

Gemma took the silver medal in the under 78kg Judo category at the 2012 London Olympics, then looking upwards and mouthing “I love you mum” after her medal-clinching semi-final for her win to become one of the most iconic moments of the Games.

Master Stuart Youles of ForLife said: "It was a real thrill for our members to meet Gemma and ask her about the experience of competing at an Olympic Games. To see all the determination and commitment pay off in the silver medal that she showed us will continue to be a great inspiration."

Gemma Gibbons said that she had also enjoyed the experience, adding: "It's great to think that my success can help to push others on to achieve their own aspirations. Judo is a great way of keeping fit and having fun, as well as the serious competition. Everyone can get something out of judo, male or female, young or old."

The athlete went on to visit Hinkley Point B power station, along with her husband, Euan Burton - who also competed at the 2012 Games - and joined in the fun with employees and their families at a family weekend organised at the power station.

EDF Energy's Visitor Centre coordinator, Marie Howe, said: "We were delighted to welcome Gemma to our Visitor Centre. As an official partner of London 2012, we are keen to see the legacy of those inspiring Games reach out to local communities and Gemma is a great example of someone putting back into her sport. She's definitely one to watch out for at Rio in 2016."

Roger Smith, Angel Place Centre Manager, added: “I was delighted by Gemma’s visit to Angel Place. It was fantastic to have an Olympic silver medal star at the Centre and everyone was so enthusiastic to have Gemma in Bridgwater.”

EDF was an official partner and the official electricity supplier to the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Games.