Geraint Hughes reports from the Winter Olympics following Lizzy Yarnold's gold medal in the skeleton.
Finally the wait is over and Lizzy Yarnold has her gold medal around her neck. It takes time not only to become an Olympic champion by becoming the best of the best, but it takes time to get your medal at Sochi 2014.
Very few medals are awarded after an event in the Mountain Cluster where the alpine and sliding sports are being held, instead in the main the athletes get some flowers (very useful of course). The format for Lizzy Yarnold meant she had to wait 24 hours to get the prize she had been dreaming of for years.
It must be a strange sensation to be the victor, take all the plaudits, be told you are the Olympic champion, yet they tantalisingly keep the really good bit from you. "Ah well done Yarnold, but not quite yet, be patient now," is something that may or may not have been said by an official. I'll leave it to you to decide!
So Lizzy, after she's provided a sample for doping control - to me and you that means peeing into a small plastic container. It's also another perk of becoming Olympic champion - she heads back to a hotel to meet with family, friends, well-wishers and confused passers-by who are wondering what all the fuss is about as they see no medal around a neck of anyone there.
After winning the Skeleton, by destroying her opposition, four years of hard work are condensed into an emotional moment. Yet the symbol of her victory, her dedication and perspiration is 70km away in its packaging. I'd want that medal ASAP - I'd have run down the mountains and stood outside IOC towers and knocked on the door until President Thomas Bach put on his slippers on and got me my medal! I'd have been polite, but I'd want that medal.
Lizzy Yarnold has clearly been sapped of most of her abundant energy since winning, apart from her own emotions; she has to speak to people like me again and again. Part of the job I'm afraid so from me you won't have any sympathy, however I'll be understanding and try and make the experience as pleasant and painless as possible, but the one shot I really want is the one thing surely Lizzy wants - the gold medal!
Back in the day, you know the dark ages when everything was all a bit different, athletes didn't have to wait 24 hours or more to get their medal. It was win the race, pat on the back, handshake or kiss, flowers (yep those again) and medal all within an hour. Brilliant, simple. It then allowed the medallists to let their hair down, enjoy a Babycham or three and show off their prize. Their Gold medal.
It also allowed surely, any Olympic medallist the best possible bed pal, who wouldn't go to sleep the night you became Olympic Champion wearing, clutching and hugging tight your Gold medal. You'd be mad not to.