It had been nearly three months since Olympic champion Lucy Stephan had planned to visit Ballarat Grammar School, but on Friday she was able to return and bask in the glory of her gold medal triumph.
COVID-19 put a stop to her original visit, but Friday gave Stephan, a former Grammar rower, the chance to join current athletes and coaches for a morning session and to enjoy a day at the school.
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"It's been great to come back, obviously it's been a long time coming ...," she said.
"Finally it's all worked out and it's good that it's worked out in a way that I can come around, restrictions are pretty eased and I can just actually enjoy it and not worry about the other stuff going on."
With COVID restrictions easing, Stephan is now able to enjoy some normal, albeit later than usual, gold medal celebrations.
"I think especially today, this is probably one of the first things that I've really been able to do since coming out of that kind of lockdown, COVID era," she said.
"Things are kind of on the horizon of being able to celebrate, coming back here (Friday) night we've got a function, we're having a Victorian Olympics dinner in a couple of weeks.
"There's things that are going on that I feel like we can actually really just celebrate because we obviously didn't get to do that in Tokyo and then hotel quarantine and then being in lockdown in Victoria."
Stephan was able to view the boat that has been named in her honour, which the open girl's first crew competed in last season.
"It's pretty cool, it's the first Lucy Stephan boat that exists, so feeling very privileged," she said.
With restrictions easing, Stephan has returned to Melbourne and joined Scotch College and 776BC.
She has also re-joined her home club Melbourne University for some training.
Competing at the 2024 Paris Olympics remains an option for Stephan, the 29-year-old saying the fire still burns to compete at the highest level.
"I'm not going back to Penrith in January ... but I've still nominated for the Australian Rowing Team, so I can still go to trials and trial to make the team," she said.
"I'm training with the intention to potentially do that and if not I would daresay I would probably be back up in Penrith in October next year with the intention to hopefully go get a friend for my gold medal and hopefully it's the same colour so they can hang out together.
"The fire's still definitely alive and I think we're kind of at a point it's not so much if but when and I think that's the hard thing with the Olympics with the three-year cycle.
Stephan said her usual routine of enjoying a year off and then training for three years has been impacted by the three-year cycle this time around.
"Obviously winning an Olympic gold medal is incredibly hard ... you want to be up in the training centre side-by-side with the girls, I guess in the war zone if you will, working together," she said.
"It does make it a bit tricky of trying to balance that with the fact my partner's in Melbourne, spending time with him, loved ones and doing other things, I'm really enjoying coaching (and) working with 776.
"I'm enjoying being back training at Melbourne Uni which for me is where it all started and kind of giving back to that, so those things are important to me as well so how do you balance that but also knowing what it takes to win a gold medal and where you have to go."
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