'It feels like I've been in a movie'

Georgia Holt said ‘it feels like I’ve been in a movie’ after remarkable Commonwealth Games drama saw her and para cycling partner Sophie Unwin bouncing back from a cruel heartbreak in their first event to winning silver medals in their second.

By Nick Rennie
Tuesday, 2nd August 2022, 6:57 pm
Updated Wednesday, 3rd August 2022, 9:21 am
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Silver Medalists, Georgia Holt and Sophie Unwin of Team England celebrate on the podium in the Women's Tandem B 1000m Time Trial medal ceremony on day three of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Lee Valley Velopark Velodrome on July 31, 2022 on the London, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 31: Silver Medalists, Georgia Holt and Sophie Unwin of Team England celebrate on the podium in the Women's Tandem B 1000m Time Trial medal ceremony on day three of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Lee Valley Velopark Velodrome on July 31, 2022 on the London, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

The 22-year-old Melton athlete was reduced to tears on Friday, after riding as pilot for Sophie in the tandem B sprint, when organisers said they would not be receiving bronze medals despite winning a ride-off for third place in front of a packed velodrome in London.

The devastated duo were denied access to the medals ceremony and then attracted attention from the world’s media as they borrowed bronze medals and posed for photos on the podium to great applause from spectators.

And Georgia and Sophie put the disappointment behind them to power to silver medals in the 1,000m time trial on the Sunday, finishing within four-tenths of a second of pipping the Australian bike for gold.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 29: Bronze Medalists, Sophie Unwin and Georgia Holt of Team England celebrate after finishing third in the Women's Tandem B - Finals on day one of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Lee Valley Velopark Velodrome on July 29, 2022 on the London, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

Speaking to the Melton Times this afternoon (Tuesday), Georgia said: “It was a dream come true to come back and win the silver.

"Someone said it was like something out of a movie and to be honest I feel like I’ve been in a movie all week.

“It’s just been surreal.”

Georgia, a former pupil at Melton’s Long Field Academy and MV16 and also Ratcliffe College, had only had five proper training sessions with Sophie, who is visually impaired, after a change of partners.

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 29: Tearful Sophie Unwin and Georgia Holt of Team England pose for a photo with borrowed bronze medals after finishing third in the Women's Tandem B - Finals on day one of the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games at Lee Valley Velopark Velodrome on July 29, 2022 on the London, England. (Photo by Justin Setterfield/Getty Images)

The pair were elated when they thought they had won bronze on Friday only to have it snatched away from them. They were told only minutes after the race that medals weren’t being presented for third as only five teams had entered. It was cycling legend, and Team England team-mate Dame Laura Kenny who encouraged the duo to borrow medals and have their own ‘presentation’.

“There was another race about to start and the crowd started clapping and whistling and they all stood up,” recalled Georgia.

"And I just burst into tears. It was then that it hit me.”

Ecstasy then followed just a couple of days later when the duo struck gold, though.