“For people who are new to rowing, the fact that Katherine and Sophie Hosking did so well in the heats and semi-finals might suggest that they were on course to win. But people don’t realise that every race is different, and so much can go wrong. Other crews could be holding a bit back, so you can’t just say one crew were the fastest qualifiers and so they’ll win.
“My husband, Derek, was very calm but I was the complete opposite. I screamed for seven minutes and ended up physically rowing the race with her, rocking back and forth. By the end I was completely hoarse and deaf.
“When they won, I turned to my husband. We didn’t need to say anything. It was just a look. It still hasn’t sunk in properly. The past few weeks have been full-on. Sometimes you need a few quiet minutes to think about what happened.
“The main thing Katherine was excited about was meeting Gary Lineker. She went off to do the drug testing, and then to London, and we went back to our hotel. My husband and I had a minor fall-out because I was online buying memorabilia and he wanted to get going to the rowing drinks!
“On the BBC Katherine was presented with a big cardboard version of her commemorative stamp, and when we went to meet her later, we took it for her as she was moving into the Olympic village the next morning. When I woke up and saw the stamp leaning against the wall of my hotel room, it hit me and I just started sobbing.
“The next day, on the way home, we called in at a post office to buy some of the real stamps. They asked my husband how many he wanted, and he asked how many they had. He bought their entire stock - 60 of them.”
Simon Bailey, brother of the Paralympic gold medallist Sarah Storey – at swimming (Atlanta) and cycling (Beijing, London 2012)
"It’s the quiet, more reflective moments when it really sinks in."