I am writing this month from my bedroom on a Saturday morning having just had a lovely lie in. I usually find it difficult to sleep in on the weekends after getting up for training all week, Chloe and Rosie are always telling me off for waking them up too early so I shall stay quiet in my room for a while while I type this up.
Since my last blog we have been not been abroad at all, just training Monday –Friday in Manchester. Szilvester (our coach) did travel to the Olympic Qualification Tournament in Italy to watch the quarter finals, the winners of whom we will play against at the Olympics. There were some upset results too. Reigning World and Olympics Champions Greece and The Netherlands did not make it through. The top four in the end were Hungary, Russia, Italy and Spain. We are all quite pleased with that as, apart from Hungary, we have had really close results with all those teams over the last 12 months. We are hoping to do the same against Hungary next week in London.
On Monday we are travelling down to the Test Event in London by bus, arriving at our hotel in the early evening. We aren’t allowed to stay in the Athlete Village yet as it is all on ‘lock down’ for security. We are then spending the week training in the new Olympic pool before our first game against Australia on Thursday evening. I am really looking forward to this match, the last time we played them we were all exhausted and jet lagged in Canberra and now the tables have turned and I hope we can take them by surprise! We also have to get them back for breaking one of our players ribs while we were over there, so victory would be the best revenge!
We had a very interesting talk from David Faulkner this week. He is an Olympic gold medallist from ’88 with the Men’s Hockey Team. He is also now the Performance Director of British Hockey. He had some great insights into what it will be like at the games and was encouraging us not to just focus on winning a medal but to think about we would want to feel after we’ve just played our last game, something I thought was really interesting but had not thought about before.
I also had my last day at work this week. Over the last 18 months I have been working part time in the Research Office at The University of Manchester. It has been the perfect little job for me as it is just across the road from the pool, I’d always run in with dripping wet hair and stinking of chlorine, and they were happy to be flexible around my training and trips abroad. It was full of really nice people too, on my last day I walked in and they had decorated my desk in an Olympic theme! My boss had also made this incredible Olympic Rings cake. I was very sad to leave!
Time now to focus solely on preparations for the next few months. We are down to London on Monday for the week and then Greece for World League on the Tuesday after that. Also, for anyone that may have looked at my empty twitter page over the last 6 months, I have decided that I am going to start tweeting pictures about these last few months leading up to and during the Olympics so have a look at that for more regular updates about how we are getting on.
See you in London