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Role model Elizabeth gets hero's welcome at school

By Llanelli Star  |  Posted: February 13, 2013

A LLANELLI teenager has gone for gold at the Special Olympics — bringing home three medals.

Inspirational Elizabeth Allen had a hero's welcome when she returned to school at Heol Goffa with two golds and a silver medal.

The 19-year-old, who has autism, was one of just seven competitors from Britain chosen to compete at the World Winter Olympic Games in Pyongyang in South Korea this month —  going up against teams from 111 different countries.

On Friday, pupils, teachers and Elizabeth's family held a party at the school to congratulate the talented teen.

And Elizabeth said she was really proud of her achievement.

"It's very, very fantastic," she said.

"The party's really nice. Everyone has been really nice.

"I love skiing, it's great. I'll carry on skiing.

"And I loved South Korea. I even had chopsticks."

Pupils visit the dry ski slope in Pembrey once a week to practise their skills, and the school also organises an annual ski trip for the youngsters.

Elizabeth's mum Helen, who travelled out to watch the games, said she was very proud of her daughter.

"She started skiing when she joined the school," Mrs Allen said.

"Heol Goffa are great that way. I've never skied ever in my life."

And she said seeing Elizabeth winning was overwhelming for the whole family.

"It's the first time I've ever seen her so emotional," she said.

"We were all emotional.

"Because she's got autism she just takes things how they come.

"But she was a bit concerned about winning, so she was really pleased."

And Elizabeth's sister Rebecca, 21, said: "It's something we never thought would happen —  but never say never.

"I was watching her on the internet — I would love to have seen her."

Teacher Laura Hunter also paid tribute to Elizabeth's achievement.

She said: "The whole school is proud of Liz and her achievements, and we are pleased that she's done so well.

"She's a role model to the other skiers in the school.

"They can see what she's achieved and hopefully they can see that they can achieve the same."

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