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February 20, 2014

Royal Mail rebuffs Sevenoaks Chronicle campaign to honour golden Olympian Lizzy Yarnold

By Darren Boyle

A local newspaper has launched a campaign for Winter Olympic gold champion Lizzy Yarnold to receive a gold-coloured post box like her summer compatriots.

Royal Mail repainted post boxes gold in the home towns of all successful London 2012 gold Olympians.

However, they are refusing to  honour the winter Olympians in a similar manner.

Now, the Sevenoaks Chronicle has launched a campaign to force the Royal Mail into a u-turn with editor Gabriel Shepard even offering to pay for the paint himself.

He said: “The response has been overwhelming but shows how much public support the campaign has both on a local and national basis. Not only would a golden post box be a fitting tribute to Lizzy’s fantastic achievement but it would also help to inspire a new generation of world class athletes.

“We urge Royal Mail to reconsider its decision and honour Lizzy in the same way as the Team GB athletes of London 2012.”

The campaign has its own hashtag #paintitgoldforlizzy which is attacting plenty of attention online.

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Yarnold said; “It would be fantastic if I could have one painted gold in my home village of West Kingsdown, where I grew up, as a way to inspire. But there are more ways I can inspire. I can meet people, go around schools and show people my gold medal.”

So far, more than 43,000 people have signed the campaign to honour the 25-year-old athlete who won gold at the Sochi Winter Olympics.

A Royal Mail spokesperson said: “London 2012 was a unique occasion. The UK hosted the Games and our athletes performed extraordinarily well.

"Because of our status as the host nation, Royal Mail chose to mark the achievement of our athletes through gold postboxes as well as stamps.

"For the Winter Olympics 2014 Royal Mail will not be creating gold postboxes but we are exploring other ways of marking the achievements of our athletes, including creating a special postmark."

However, the Sevenoaks Chronicle reports today that vandals in Yarnold’s home town of West Kingsdown have painted a post box gold in response to the scandal.

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