It was the sole moment for Dame Mary while celebrating her 40th anniversary of gold medal victory in 1972, when she has had an aircraft named after her. This was to mark her celebration and many renowned Olympic medalists travelled down to Belfast for paying tribute to Dame Mary Peters. The guests included Daley Thompson, Dame Kelly Holmes, Lynn Davies, Duncan Goodhew, and Stephen Martin who attended the event at the Belfast City airport. A Flybe aircraft was named in Dame Mary's honor with her picture with gold medal painted on the craft. The 73years old Dame Mary Peters was overwhelmed with the tribute. All the Olympians will attend a celebration ceremony at the Grand Opera House later.
Dame Mary Elizabeth Peters, born on 6th July 1939 was a successful British athlete, best known for pentathlon and shot put. She got introduced to Athletics in Portland College with McClelland, her first coach. In the Summer Olympics, 1972 Munich, she competed for Great Britain and Northern Ireland and ultimately won gold medal in women's pentathlon. In order to win the medal, she beat Germany's Heide Rosendahl by 10 points which set a world record score. With such unique victory, when she returned to her home city, she was greeted with band at the airport and was paraded through the streets of Belfast. Later, though been offered numerous jobs in US and Australia; she chose to stay in her hometown.
Dame Mary was given a surprise at the airport having no idea about the event, when she went to receive her friends from London. Initially at the airport, she was handed a card with a note which was confusing yet exciting. Later at the event, as she pulled a cord to reveal her iconic photograph on the rostrum, a jazz band played and it was a moment of delight for Mary Peters to see life-size image of her on the aircraft. The picture was originally taken by her father when she won the gold medal in 1972 standing at the podium. She said that she was completely shocked, surprised, shaking and full of joy, and it was delightful for her to celebrate with her friends and colleagues.
Dame Mary Peters has spent her life encouraging young talents to play sports and was much devoted to it. It was a great honor by Flybe to her and she was overwhelmed to get splashed with the surprise.