Let's also praise the parents and their Olympian efforts in raising sporting stars

It all started in an Optimist dinghy on the west coast of Scotland with a childhood love of being on the water taking Anna Burnet all the way to the silver podium at Tokyo 2020.

John Gimson and Anna Burnet, from Argyll, took silver for Team GB in the Nacra 17 Foiling class on day eleven of the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games. (Photo by Clive Mason/Getty Images)

Louise Burnet, the mother of the Olympian sailor who took the medal with partner John Gimson in the mixed Nacra 17 class, has shone a light on the backstory of her daughter’s incredible achievement, speaking of a girl with no fear as well as the practical role her parents played in supporting that arduous path to sporting glory.

“There were a lot of long drives at weekends which her father Colin did a lot of, 11 hours down to the south coast at weekends, and it is certainly all worth it now,” Mrs Burnet recalled.

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Burnet started sailing at the Royal Northern and Clyde Yacht Club on Gare Loch, Scotland’s oldest yacht club, which was founded in 1824.

She soon won the female national Optimist title and was selected for the British worlds team in 2006, aged 14.

Every journey and every competition, her parents were by her side, but the pandemic of course meant they were unable to be at the Enoshima Yacht Harbour near Mount Fuji, to share up close the biggest sporting moment of their daughter’s life. Instead, they watched it at home on the television in Shandon, Argyll, where they went “over the moon” at the result.

As we celebrate our country’s finest sporting stars, lets also raise a cheer for those who shed that very particular brand of parental sweat and tears to help their children reach their dreams, whatever they are.

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