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Golden Day for Britain

After four days of near misses and disappointing performances, Team GB finally claimed their first gold medal yesterday. And, just like buses in London, you wait for ages and then two come along at once.

Gold in the Rowing

First to break Britain's duck were rowing pair Helen Glover and Heather Stanning. They set out as favourites, but with the weight of expectation from a whole nation they were under huge pressure. However, almost from the start it was clear they were feeling good, and just 250m into the 2000m race, they were miles ahead of their rivals. They carried it on and comfortably won Britain its first gold medal of the London 2012 Games, also becoming the first British female rowers to ever win an Olympic gold. After the race, Helen Glover revealed:

"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. It's just brilliant. I hope the crowd really enjoyed today."

Meanwhile, Heather Stanning is already planning to return to her day job- in the army:

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One-Year Countdown to London 2012

Events were held throughout London yesterday to celebrate the start of the one-year countdown to the 2012 Olympics. To mark the occasion, a ceremony was held in Trafalgar Square where the likes of Princess Anne, Prime Minister David Cameron and Mayor Boris Johnson unveiled the medals that will be awarded to successful athletes.

The gold, silver and bronze medals (pictured above) have been designed by British artist David Watkins and have the usual symbolism that sports bodies enjoy but which makes little sense. The backs of the medals (on the right of the picture) supposedly have a number of symbolic images, including a grid of ‘radiating energy that represents the athletes' achievements and effort', a dished background that ‘suggests a bowl similar to the design of an amphitheatre' and a ribbon that represents the River Thames and ‘adds a sense of celebration'.

Regardless of what they are meant to symbolically represent, there is a general consensus that the medals do encapsulate both the history of the Olympic Games and the modernity of the London 2012 edition.

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