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I’m overwhelmed at my welcome home: Saskia
OLYMPIC silver medalist Saskia Clark was left overwhelmed as she received a hero’s welcome on her return to Mersea .
Sailor Saskia took centre stage as her hometown celebrated its annual carnival and made sure they said a big well done to their favourite sportswoman.
Saturday’s turnout left Saskia full of pride and emotion at seeing her home crowd’s support.
Saskia, who finished second with sailing partner Hannah Mills in the women’s 470 class at London 2012, said: “It’s absolutely incredible to have all these people here today.
“It hadn’t all sunk in until I started seeing friends and family.
“The support I’ve had from Mersea has been awesome, and it has not just been over the past two weeks, it has been the last 10 or 12 years.
“It was mental; a lot of people from Mersea sent me messages when I was in Weymouth.
“I am very proud to be a Mersea girl and I read all the messages.”
Saskia was given her own boat float for the procession and took a ride with the carnival court before a fete was held in her honour. She added: “I’m so excited to finally be back with everyone that has been supporting me.
“It’s amazing. I was slightly nervous to be on the carnival queen float at 32 years old though, but the whole welcome home was unbelievable.”
Saskia’s proud mum, Moyia Clark, said islanders had always been great supporters of her daughter. She said: “For the first Olympics, she didn’t have a lot of money and we had a fundraising night to help her, which was really well supported. She loves being here in Mersea. People here know what it has taken for her to get where she is.
“For me, she is my baby and what she has achieved is fantastic. To have a child that has a dream and to be able to help her fulfil that dream for a parent is an amazing thing.”
Saskia’s nine-year-old niece Sasha Dafforn said: “I’m so proud of her. When she won the silver medal everyone was so happy, it was really emotional. Everyone wanted to see her do well.”
Saskia’s sister Barbara Dafforn added: “Saskia is wonderful – the support she has had has been wonderful, it is so touching.”