Local gymnast Amy Tinkler welcomed home with bus parade

Gymnast Amy Tinkler has been welcomed home in Bishop Auckland and Spennymoor with an open-top bus parade.

The 16-year-old was the youngest member of Team GB in Rio for the 2016 Olympics, winning the bronze medal in the women’s floor competition. She became only the second British woman to win an individual gymnastics medal.

Amy Tinkler with the Mayor's award
Amy Tinkler with the Mayor’s award

“It’s been really crazy, everything has been just so busy,” explained Amy, who has appeared on television and radio with the bronze medal since returning to the UK.

“I mean all the support from everyone I’ve had here has just been incredible.”

Speaking to Bishop FM, Amy explained she didn’t expect to make the final in Rio.

“To get into the final and then go and medal was just absolutely amazing. I was totally shocked, I couldn’t believe it at all.”

“I love competing out on a big stage, and in front of such a big crowd, so that definitely helped. Going into the floor final I just wanted to go out there and enjoy it, and that’s what I did.”

The bus left Bracks Farm with the gymnast, friends, family and members of South Durham Gymnastics in Spennymoor, where she trains for more than 30 hours a week.

Along the route the bus stopped at Bishop Auckland Town Hall, where Amy was presented with the Mayor’s award.

Speaking to Amy on the balcony of the Town Hall, Councillor Anne Golightly said “On behalf of all the people of Bishop Auckland I’d like to say how proud we are of you.”

The bus parade continued through Bishop Auckland to Jubilee Park in Spennymoor before completing the route at the leisure centre.