Nicola Adams Targets More Olympic Gold in 2016
Olympic gold-winning boxer Nicola Adams from Leeds has said she was happy to be a role model for a generation of new fans.
The flyweight has not stopped smiling in the two weeks since she won her medal, making history as the first woman to do so at an Olympic Games.
Hundreds of fans turned out to see the 29-year-old at the Merrion Centre shopping mall in her home city of Leeds, where she proudly showed off her gold to cheering supporters.
Unlike top-level footballers, who appeared to struggle with being portrayed as role models, she happily took on the mantle.
She said: "It's easy in a sense because I am just doing what I love doing. To think I am a role model because of doing my sport is an honour and a great achievement. My love of boxing has brought this to life."
Having recovered from a terrible back injury which left her bed-ridden in 2009, Adams said she can appreciate her success and finding herself suddenly thrust in the spotlight.
"I have had my ups and downs in sport and I have thankfully come out on top," she said. "It's like a fairytale ending for me. I have kept smiling because every time I look at the medal, I smile."
Adams has not taken stock of her future and has no plans to turn pro, seeming to prefer to remain amateur and fight in the Rio Olympics.
She added: "I haven't had a chance to think about that but I am definitely looking for 2016 - why not, double Olympic champion?"
For the time being, she will enjoy her success and the support of people in her home city. She said: "It feels really good to be back. The amount of support I have had from Leeds and Yorkshire has been amazing."