By Chris Dutton August 05, 2012
Kim Crow and Brooke Pratley of Australia celebrate with their silver medals. Photo: Getty Images
IF YOU'RE born a country girl you stay a country girl. Just hours after winning an Olympic Games silver, Brooke Pratley was more concerned about her fellow Goulburn athletes than the ''big and heavy'' medal hanging around her neck.
''Oh, how are the men's hockey going? I want to get there to see Glenn [Turner],'' Pratley beamed after getting off the medal dais.
The veteran rower had just reached her Olympic goal and finished the double sculls with a silver medal.
But unconcerned about the hype and excitement, Pratley was already thinking about trying to get to the Olympic hockey games to watch Kookaburras striker Turner and Crookwell's Hockeyroo Emily Smith.
The best part is she will arrive at their games with a silver medal dangling from her neck.
''I'm actually just excited to get to the hockey now I'm finished up, it's amazing to have so many athletes for my home town,'' Pratley said.
''The support from Crookwell has been phenomenal, I'm actually a bit embarrassed by it. In the shop windows there are messages for us, they had a fundraiser, people were coming up to my parents in the street and giving them money … it's overwhelming.''
The 32-year-old was so nervous she didn't talk to her parents or boyfriend - who travelled to London - in the week leading into the race.
''It just feels like time has gone so fast. What am I doing here with a medal around my neck?'' she said.
''I still don't know. The medal's actually really big and heavy and it's already engraved, which is pretty cool. It's a surreal feeling, it's sinking in, I don't even know how to celebrate.''
While Crow was qualifying for the single scull two months ago, Pratley was recovering from a rib injury.
Because she was injured, Pratley was the only athlete training at Lake Burley Griffin while the rest of the team was in Europe.
''I was starting in the dark and finishing in the dark in minus five-degree mornings … it's been a long journey to get here,'' she said.