Stephanie Rice?s grandmother, Perina Tendam at home in South Tweed yesterday, reliving the big-race emotion on TV.Photo: TOM WY
Stephanie Rice?s grandmother, Perina Tendam at home in South Tweed yesterday, reliving the big-race emotion on TV.Photo: TOM WY

Grandma?s girl strikes Games gold

By ED SOUTHORN

THE Tweed grandmother of Australian swimming's newest golden girl Stephanie Rice can't swim. She even hates getting her head wet.

Perina Tendam, who lives with chef husband Karel at the Colonial Caravan Park off Dry Dock Road, South Tweed, yesterday said Stephanie's surprise win in the Commonwealth Games 200 metres individual medley on Thursday night had made her extremely proud.

Stephanie grabbed Australia's first pool gold for the Games. Her win was part of an Aussie trifecta, with Brooke Hanson second and Lara Carroll third.

Mrs Tendam had hardly dared to dream Stephanie could win the race, as she sat watching the telecast at home.

"I was just crying, we were both jumping up and down," she said.

"When they said beforehand that our girls would finish one, two, three, I really thought Stephanie might get bronze.

"I thought it was too wild that she might get a gold medal, but she's a very strong finisher."

Mrs Tendam, whose family hails from Dalmatia in eastern Europe, is an aqua aerobics regular who cannot swim and refuses to float.

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