Norfolk teachers celebrate honeymoon at Rio Olympics - with help from Andy Murray, Jessica Ennis-Hill, Dame Kelly Holmes and Team GB medal winners

Alderman Peel High School PE teachers Matt Hardman and Kirsty Hardman at the opening ceremony in Rio

Alderman Peel High School PE teachers Matt Hardman and Kirsty Hardman at the opening ceremony in Rio. - Credit: Archant

When PE teachers Matt and Kirsty Hardman got married, they decided to postpone their honeymoon - and celebrate their first anniversary at the Olympics.

They saw the opening ceremony at the games in Rio, met Andy Murray and have helped Team GB medal winners including Jessica Ennis-Hill, Jack Laugher and Steven Burke celebrate with a cheeky selfie.

'There are so many highlights it's difficult to pick one,' said Mr Hardman, who is associate head at Alderman Peel High School, in Wells.

'Seeing GB win so many medals and smash world records in the track cycling men's and women pursuits, sprints and Kierin. Seeing GB win Silver in the Rugby finals, Max Whitlock win Bronze in Gymnastics and of course Greg Rutherford, Jessica Ennis-Hill and Mo Farah win Bronze, Silver and Gold respectively was amazing.

'Being in the venue for all of these events were such incredible experiences and it felt great to be part of seeing history in the making. We've met lots of athletes at the events and on the park and they have been very generous with their time, so grateful of the support and to see fans out here.'


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The couple, who married last August and live in Fakenham, spent two years planning the trip.

Mrs Hardman, who is assistant head at Alderman Peel, said: 'We had an amazing time in London 2012 and decided there and then that we would go to Rio 2016 and every Olympics from now on. As soon as we got engaged in August 2014 we started planning towards an Olympic honeymoon.

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'Our friends and family all knew that we wanted to go to Rio and to help make this dream possible our wedding gifts included contributions towards flights, accommodation and event tickets. One friend went as far as buying tickets to the opening ceremony and the gymnastics final as a present.

She added the one disappointment was missing Andy Murray win gold in the tennis final.

'We desperately wanted to see Andy Murray in the tennis final as we saw him in all the other rounds before,' she said. 'Unfortunately we couldn't get tickets so watched in a restaurant in Copacabana and managed to get every Brazilian in there to cheer with us.'

The couple have spent four weeks in Brazil, which they describe as 'a wonderful place to visit'. On their way to Rio, they have visited Iguassu Falls, Sau Paulo and Ilha Grande.

'To sum up the experience, it has literally been the trip of a lifetime and the best possible honeymoon we could have ever wished for,' said Mrs Hardman.

'We feel very fortunate, due to the generosity of our friends and family, to have been part of the Rio 2016 and see GB reach second in the medal table. Tokyo 2020 here we come.'

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