Mother-of-two from Melton is crowned World's Strongest Woman
A powerhouse supermum from Melton has been crowned the World's Strongest Woman - having only taken up the sport three-and-a-half years ago.
Andrea Thompson, 36, of Hall Farm Road, flew across the pond to North Carolina last week to compete against the strongest women on the planet - powering her way to the win and a place in the history books.
Andrea has had a fast journey to the top of the sport having already won Britain’s Strongest Woman three times and setting a world record for the Yoke Carry during the summer.
Now back in Suffolk, Andrea said it hasn’t quite sunk in what she has achieved.
“When I found I out I had won I just sat there with my friend giggling, she said.
“I didn’t celebrate too much through as I am not the type of person to rub it in people’s faces.
“The other girls I competed against were amazing athletes.
“There was some very strong women and it was right down to the wire.
“It was a very tight race, I respect the girls so much so didn’t want to make a massive fuss.
“It hasn’t really sunk in yet.
“It is very strange, everyone seems to be a lot more excited than I feel.
“You are in another world when you are competing and around other strong people, it’s like you are living in a little bubble.”
Andrea said her daughters Violet and Olivia surprised her with a card signed by their friends after her return from America.
“Then I cried”, she said.
Andrea, who works as a lecturer at Suffolk New College, became interested in strength events after lifting weights as part of her regular fitness routine.
“I didn’t even think about competing at a high level,” she said.
“I had just gone into CrossFit to do some exercise and that had weight training in it.
“I entered a couple of competitions but even then I was just seeing how I could do.
“Turns out I was pretty good.”
Craig Shimmon, marketing manager at Suffolk New College, said, “We were overwhelmed when we heard the news about Andrea. “We are chuffed for her because we know the time and effort that she put in to achieve her dreams. Her story is inspirational and we are so incredibly proud to be able to say that one of our staff is in fact the strongest woman in the world.”