I MADE THE TEAM!
Sorry for the delay in posting my blog this month… since the team selection announcement we have been super busy! I am actually writing this from my hotel room in Budapest where we are on a training camp with the Hungarians and the Spanish. But let me rewind a few weeks and start from the beginning – waiting to hear the selection…
We were due to find out via email at 8am on Saturday 23rd July. At 1am that morning Chloe, Rosie and I were all still wide awake with excitement and nerves. I don’t know how we managed it but we did eventually fall asleep for a few hours, then from about 7am onwards all three of us were in Chloe’s bed waiting for the email. The last ten minutes were the worst; it took forever, and it didn’t help that Rosie was playing nerve-racking music like ‘It’s The Final Countdown’.
When 8am finally did arrive anxiety quickly changed to elation as all three of us had made the team! We spent the next half hour dancing around the house in our pyjamas to ‘Celebrate Good Times’. I admit that we did also have a glass of champagne to celebrate!
The hardest thing was keeping it a secret for the next two days until the official announcement at the press conference on the Monday. Both the men’s and the women’s teams were announced at the same time and this was the first opportunity we had to all come together as the Olympic Team. We also got to try on some of the Olympic kit for the announcement. Wearing the Team GB tracksuit for the first time was incredibly exciting to say the least!
After the press conference we had an afternoon of photos and media interviews. (As the only one in the girls’ team from London, I often have to do a lot of the local media stuff for London.) The worst part was when we had to give back the Team GB tracksuit at the end of it all. Luckily for us, though, we only had two days to wait till we headed down to Loughborough for the official ‘Kitting Out’. This has to be up there with some of the best days of my life!
We travelled to Loughborough University – where the Team GB Kitting Out is based – by bus and were split into small groups upon arrival. My group first went to the ‘Ceremonies’ section where we tried on the Opening and Closing Ceremony outfits and the Formal Wear which is for when we visit Buckingham Palace apparently! All of this has been designed by Next and is top secret so you will have to wait to see what that looks like.
After that we headed into the ‘Adidas’ section for the kit we’ll be wearing during the Olympics. This area was so big that we had a ‘personal shopper’ to take us round! They greeted us at the entrance and we were shown rows and rows of t-shirts, hoodies, jackets, trousers, shorts, shoes and more! It was split into different categories of ‘Village Wear’, ‘Training Wear’, ‘Competition Wear’,’Podium Wear’ and ‘Accessories’.
Each athlete gets one or two of everything so tried everything on and our personal shopper kept a note of the different sizes, then it was all ready and waiting for us at the end! We also had one of our hands and feet scanned for inclusion in the Olympic Museum which is opening in 2014.
With such an exciting few days it’s been very hard not to get too distracted by the hype of it all and I think it’s a good thing that we have come away for our final training. It means we can focus solely on what we have to do over the next five weeks. Also, training against Hungary and Spain is good practice for us as they are both really strong teams and we are likely to cross over with one of them at the Olympics.
This will be my last blog now until after the Olympics when I will do a final post about the whole experience at the Games. We head into the Athlete Village on the morning of the Opening Ceremony. Apparently all of our games will be televised and will also be available on the internet. I know a few Penguins have managed to get tickets so I’m looking forward to hearing your support!
Until after the Games…