FOUR times Olympic runner and I'm a Celebrity contestant Diane Modahl and her husband and former coach Vincente have opened a shop in Barnstaple. Since retiring from competitive athletics the couple have launched their own designer clothes business Xo2 -
FOUR times Olympic runner and I'm a Celebrity contestant Diane Modahl and her husband and former coach Vincente have opened a shop in Barnstaple.Since retiring from competitive athletics the couple have launched their own designer clothes business Xo2 - Xtreme Oxygen - and distribute their beach, surf, ski and snow-wear in 15 countries.Diane is a former Commonwealth and six times British 800m champion. She was an Olympic finalist and ran in the Seoul, Barcelona, Atlanta and Sydney Olympics before retirement in 2000. She also does television and other media work.Norwegian Vincente, an extreme skier, coaches and also manages athletes and musical entertainers.Diane told the Gazette that it was a friendship built up on I'm a Celebrity with former Royal correspondent Jenny Bond, who lives in Devon, that first brought her and Vincente to the county.While their base was in Manchester, it could be a big and exhausting place, said Vincente. They had found Devon to be family friendly - they have three children - and it reminded him of the tranquility of Norway. They also enjoyed the surfing. Now the Modahls are planning to spend their summers in North Devon. They had recognised the importance of surfing in North Devon and decided to set up a shop in Barnstaple, said Vincente. The small shop in Church Lane was the first of their own, but part of quite a big business. Their designer-wear was generally distributed on a wholesale basis through 1,000-1,200 outlets worldwide, he said.Already they were sponsoring some aspiring young surfers in Devon and Cornwall and they hoped to help more, said Vincente. Local surfers would also be employed at the Barnstaple shop and Diane would be there from time to time.