Well today, on the one year anniversary of that particular night, where I anxiously awaited the final stretch of our RoadtoRio for my first Olympic Games, I’m going to share with you a few of my own thoughts – taken straight out of my diary from 3rd August 2016…well, with just a few small edits!
“I’m really exhausted right now, but decided it was too big of day not to have my thoughts written down. Tomorrow I fly to Rio! I think once I reach that Olympic village, that is when I will consider myself an Olympian – and then obviously officially an Olympian when I’ve finished competing. But I have made it! It’s so amazing! I am really excited to fly out to Rio and I think it will become more real once I am there – not that I will have time to think about it – we get there so late and then train so early in the morning! Crazy!”
“We don’t know yet if we will be part of the Opening Ceremony or not – If they decide we can’t go, I will be disappointed. But this is outside of my ‘controllables’, so if it is decided we won’t be going, I will make not being part of that evening the best possible evening I can – if that makes sense – I will watch it live – along with the other 300 odd GB athletes that don’t get to go(!) – and we will together all feel that HUGE sense of pride when Great Britain march out! The thing is, as incredible experience as it would be, I am not there for the Opening Ceremony – I am there to compete!”
“On Tuesday [a couple days prior to writing this entry], we had a practice competition, complete with the correct timings and format of the Olympics (including a march in/out and kiss&cry area). I actually felt quite emotional (because I am becoming an Olympian), and I wasn’t even competing in the games, just a ‘practice run through’! That is something to think about and talk through with my sports psychologist – discussing that my emotions will be high and I will want to cry for happiness of becoming an Olympian. I am not worrying majorly about these emotions, as I’ve dealt well with them before [at my first World Championships in 2010], but I do want to discuss certain techniques I can use to help control them, to prepare for every eventuality.”
“The other thing I felt emotional about was that it was going to be over. I am sad about this. I just don’t want it to be over because I am enjoying training so much right now and I have never felt this good on the trampoline! I asked Craig to remind me to change my plan for the day of the Olympic Competition: where I have written ‘fin‘ at the end of the competition day, change to ‘to be continued….‘ because I think that will help me realise this is just one chapter…it is not the end…I have more to give and more to train for after these games, after this competition. I have many more to go to, pushing my tariff, improving my execution and consistency, and really push my boundaries without fear of never reaching my potential….because I have achieved more than I ever dreamed of when I first started trampolining! I really have done it! I have reached the pinnacle of sport – I will be in the top 16 female trampolinists in the world whatever happens – and become an Olympian – sooo incredible, it is difficult to comprehend.”
“I am in my bubble, cancelling out any ‘noise’ – to me there are no distractions, no negative media, no ‘outside’ people – just me and my training. Everyone that matters to me is so proud of me. I am proud of myself. I am competing for my country. I am competing in the Olympics. I used to watch the Olympics with awe [I still do] and now I am becoming an Olympic Athlete!”
“I have achieved so much more than I ever thought was possible – I never gave up and every time I achieved something I could dream of, I set another target and gave it my everything to achieve that next one. It is not the end – because every competition and journey is a learning experience. I have taken so much from this journey so far – I have gained confidence and kept motivated, and become stronger and fitter. I have learnt so much about myself as a person and an athlete, and know that I will learn even more from the experience of the Olympics and the competition itself. I will take these lessons with me, both within and outside of sport, for the rest of my life. So it is not the end at all. It is just a checkpoint – just make it a good one – it will be a significant experience whatever.”
“I still have 6 training sessions (in Rio) to refine my routine even more, and get used to the environment and my increasing nerves each time. I just can’t wait to get there and wear my TeamGB kit and leotards and be in the Olympic Village and see all the other Olympic athletes – just so cool!”
“AHHHHHH Rio tomorrow!!!!”
As you can hopefully tell, and understandably, I was incredibly excited that the moment had finally arrived and I was going to be sat on that plane to Rio after just one more sleep. I was on the final stretch to achieving my ultimate dream in my trampolining life – to compete in the Olympic Games. I can remember how honoured and proud I felt, realising I was going to represent our great country as an Olympic Athlete in just over a weeks’ time. Something I have dreamt about and trained towards for so long, putting absolutely everything I had into it, was coming true. It felt so surreal and I was waiting for the moment to sink in…..If I’m honest, I still don’t think it really has yet.