Penny Did Us Proud!

Villagers who stayed up through the early hours of this morning to watch Ruddington ice dancer Penny Coomes and partner Nick Buckland skate their hearts out for Team GB in the finals at the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang were rewarded with another wonderful performance at the Gangneung Ice Arena.

After sailing through yesterday’s Ice Dance to qualify for today, the duo found themselves up in the Bronze Medal position after their Free Dance routine – choreographed by Nottingham ice skating legend Christopher Dean along to music by rock band Muse. (You can watch Penny & Nick’s performance >>HERE<<.) Sadly their scores weren’t good enough to keep them there – but they finished a respectable 11th in their latest Olympic outing.

Penny & Nick found themselves in third place in the Free Dance – but were later overtaken by other couples

South Korea is the third trip to a Winter Olympics for our local duo – having also represented Team GB at Vancouver in 2010 and Sochi in 2014. But their achievement this time is all the more astonishing because it was only in June 2016 that Penny smashed her right kneecap into eight pieces after a serious fall. The major knee surgery that followed threatened to bring her skating career to a premature end. But “grit, resilience and determination” has seen Penny fight her way back to the top of the sport alongside Wilford’s Nick Buckland – her partner on and off the ice.

In a message to their fans, she said: “Sometimes things don’t go the way you want them to –  the last year and a half has definitely taught me that… But I have also learnt that beauty blooms in adversity. After I broke my knee, during my road to recovery I envisioned what my Olympic Moment would be, and while I am so proud of what Nick and I put out there, the result wasn’t what I had hoped for. I wanted to be an inspiration for young people around the world and I am so grateful that the Olympic stage allowed me to share my story and to inspire the next generation. I am deeply humbled by the overwhelming amount of messages I received, and I want to say thank you to you all for making my Olympic Moment so special, and for making me feel so proud… and to me, that’s beautiful. 💜”

Penny’s mum, Jane Coomes, was in PyeongChang to cheer along her famous daughter. Karen Cragg of Ruddington’s Lovely Little Wool Shop is a family friend – who’s showed village support back home with a window display (below) dedicated to the pair. If you’re quick, you might still be in time to see “The Amateur Ice Dance Skating Championships of Great Britain” trophy there during opening hours. It’s a very special cup which has Penny and Nick’s names inscribed upon it several times – along with other legendary skating couples from the past such as Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean.

Whatever happens next, our local pair can be immensely proud of all they’ve achieved!

Karen’s “Lovely Little Wool Shop” Penny & Nick window display

{HEADER PHOTO from Simon Drane}

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