GOLD medallist Pippa Wilson not only thinks that Weymouth and Portland ’s 2012 Olympic sailing regatta will inspire a new generation of athletes but also says she has been inspired herself.

Pippa, 26, who won gold at the Beijing 2008 Games in the Yngling keelboat class with Weymouth’s Olympian Sarah Ayton and crewmate Sarah Webb , said the real legacy of the epic sporting events held on local waters was showing youngsters what ‘normal people’ can do.

She said: “This whole Games has been exciting.

“I’m inspired sitting watching – you can’t not be inspired.

“And for young people to realise it is normal people who work hard and achieve things.

“It’s really easy to doubt yourself but actually with the right support and a bit of hard work along the way you can go so much further than you’d ever have thought.”

Pippa, pictured, of Lymington, praised the sports arena, set up on Weymouth Beach.

She said: “Over in Weymouth on the beach we’ve got a set-up funded by the Royal Yachting Association (RYA) where anyone can go down and go sailing or windsurfing for free – that’s been really well received.”

Pippa got into sailing through her parents at the age of eight and feels ‘really lucky’ to have grown up around the sea.

The sailor will be getting back on the water herself to campaign for the Rio 2016 Games.