Friends and family of Olympic Gold medallist Shona McCallin celebrated her amazing achievement in Rio by watching the ladies’ team win the final on a big screen in her home village of Dry Doddington.
Shona played in the final against the Dutch last Friday. The British team won the Gold in a penalty shoot-out after drawing 3-3.
Villagers gathered in a barn in the village to watch the match. Her cousin, Sam Briggs, 21, said it was a nailbiting game and the Dry Doddington spectators went through some highs and lows.
He said: “It got very tense and I think it got to the point where we thought we are just not going to do it.
“I spoke to Shona afterwards and she said she just kept on believing and believing.”
Sam said that Shona sounded very tired after the match and she did not get much sleep after celebrating. He said: “She was lost for words and was going through so many emotions.. They did not think they would get to the final. I think she was buzzing. It will be life-changing for her.”
Shona’s mother, Wendy, travelled to Rio and watched all the Team GB games.
She wasn’t able to speak to Shona after the final because she had to go straight to the airport to catch her plane home.
Wendy told the Journal: “It was very stressful. I didn’t really remember much about the final. I came back on Saturday and watched it on iplayer and then realised how much more possession the Dutch had.
“But when it came to penalties I was feeling more optimistic because Maddie Hinch is an incredible goalie. But the nerves were still kicking in. I didn’t see Shona afterwards because i was flying back on Friday night.
“I am extremely proud of Shona as we all are, and for the women’s squad. I think hockey as a sport tends to slip under the radar so I hope this gives the women’s game a boost.”
A few weeks ago the village turned out to wish Shona all the best as she went out to Rio. Now they have something to celebrate and have even wrapped the village post box in gold foil.
Wendy added: “For a village of only 180 people it has really been buzzing.”
Sport: Shona wins Gold, see page 88.