It’s official! An absolute dream come true to be announced today as a member of Team GB to compete at the Tokyo 2020 Games! It has been such a whirlwind since the end of our selection series with little over a week between racing finishing and this announcement today. Still very much coming to terms with what we have achieved this year but today has made it begin to feel much more real.
We were lucky as Canoe Slalom / Sprint athletes that our announcement coincided with an event celebrating the Olympic team of the 1964 Olympics Games (the last time it was held in Tokyo) on the 55th anniversary of that event. It was special to mix with this older generation of Olympians as what stuck out to me was how proud they still were. I was told ‘You’re in now! You’re part of this club!’ They were all clearly so proud and had fond memories of their own Olympic experience. It has made me appreciate even more how special this time is and to really make sure I soak up every single moment of the next year. It will be something to remember for the rest of my life.
We picked up our first Team GB Olympic kit so we were on brand for the huge number of photographs that were to be taken, some of us suffering from a bit of cheek ache by the end! Our letters (with an old-school wax seal, nice touch!) were handed to us by chef de mission Mark England in a private ceremony before we were interviewed by all the main media outlets and then announced on stage as Olympians!
We couldn’t stay too long to mingle after the event as we were quickly whisked off by our taxi for Heathrow. We are headed to Tokyo for the first time already tonight! Can’t wait to get out there and see the course that we will be racing on next summer. Visualisation played a big role in my selection for the Olympic team and it will surely be important again next summer if I am to produce a performance at the games. Seeing it for the first time will make it clear in my head what staring down the course from the start line will be like on the big day as I steady my breath, repeat my mantras, and count down those first few strokes across the line… 3…2…1……..GO!