Golden girl Relph offers her reaction to MBE

Pam Relph (far left) seals gold at the London 2012 Paralympics
Pam Relph (far left) seals gold at the London 2012 Paralympics

A Paralympic gold on your debut and at a home Games, a gold painted post box and now an MBE, 2012 was quite the year for Pamela Relph.

The adaptive rower, of Weston Turville, sealed gold in the mixed coxed four at Eton Dorney with her teammates David Smith, James Roe, Naomi Riches and cox Lily van den Broecke before adding her name to the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list.

She said: “It’s been really amazing. I’m still a little bit in shock.”

Relph returned to her family home for Christmas with her sister, Monica, who is an able-bodied Team GB U23 rower.

However, little time was spent relaxing as she got back to training in her battles to better an incredible year for British athletes.

She added: “I think it’s going to be tough. You hear about everyone going back to training but you don’t think about the mental side of ‘my God, I’ve just had this amazing year, what am I training for?’

“I’m really enjoying training though. The pressure is off a little bit now.”

Despite being back in training the 23 year old did get the chance to relive her golden moment for the first time on Christmas Day.

The original race was not shown in full on Channel 4 so her stepdad, Peter Bell, located a version of the whole of the race for the family to watch.

She said: “My heart was racing when I watched it. I’m kind of embarrassed at how much I cried. I’m not really that emotional a person.”

Relph was not the only one emotional though and she said that it still amazes her at how overwhelmed people are to see and hold her gold medal.

However, with London 2012 now in the past she has her sights set on the World Championships in South Korea and her first competition when she travels to Italy in April.

Other Aylesbury Vale people to be honoured included Philip Cox, International Power’s chief executive who got a CBE and Professor Michael Brookes, who received an OBE for his work as a senior manager at HMP Grendon.

Quentin Blake was also knighted for his illustration of Roald Dahl’s books.