Paralympics golden girl is all gold

AN incredible summer of Olympic sporting glory will have a permanent memorial with a tribute to Leigh’s golden girl.

The Royal Mail has announced the gold postbox in Leigh town centre marking Heather Frederiksen’s Paralympic gold medal will not be reverting to red.

Paralympian swimmer Heather Fredericksen pictured with Leigh MP Andy Burnham and the gold painted post box

Paralympian swimmer Heather Fredericksen pictured with Leigh MP Andy Burnham and the gold painted post box

The Leigh-born swimmer wrote her place in sporting history with a gold medal in the S8 category of the women’s 100m backstroke, following it up with two silver medals in the S8 100m and 400m freestyle events.

Her exploits in the pool at Stratford’s Aquatics Centre saw the postbox on Market Place painted gold as part of a national project by the Royal Mail to paint its iconic boxes in the home towns of sportsmen and women who came top of the world at the Olympics and Paralympics.

The company has now decided to leave more than 100 boxes gold forever as a permanent record of an extraordinary summer which brought millions of people together to cheer Britain’s sporting heroes.

Leigh MP Andy Burnham joined Heather, 27, at the Market Place box for a ceremony to mark the Royal Mail’s announcement.

Mr Burnham said: “This is a unique and highly visible recognition of the success of Team GB, but in particular Heather’s superb victory at London 2012.

“She is an inspiration and I know that the whole Leigh community is very proud of her achievements.”

Heather is one of Britain’s most decorated swimmers, winning a total of eight Paralympic medals and a host of world championship prizes and world record times during an illustrious career.

Her swimming achievements were rewarded with an MBE in the 2013 New Year’s Honours List.