Day 2 of the Rio 2016 Olympics. We’re on holiday up in Yorkshire having left friends house-sitting. The week’s activities are to be planned around the Olympics, and secondly the weather.
4 years ago, on the first Sunday of London 2012 we went to the Olympic Park, got tickets to sit on a grassy strip in front of an enormous screen where we watched 7 hours of coverage and saw Lizzy Armitstead get silver. Wow. We didn’t stop to think of the impact the games might have on our own children, we were too busy yelling, jumping up and down and beaming with pride. After the games ended I bought a highlights DVD, and for every weekend our then 8 year old swimmer watched back to back footage of Becky Adlington and Ellie Simmonds.
Now it’s quite clear that watching all that swimming set a spark alight in her. She joined our local swimming club, worked her way up through the squads to train twice, 3x, 4x and now 5x a week. I met Mark Foster at Barnet Copthall (major OMG moment for me) and the Super Swimmer met, and baked a swimming pool cake, for Ellie Simmonds (shared OMG moment).
So when Adam Peaty talked poolside on Saturday of becoming an Olympian and wanting to inspire a future generation, it made me quite teary eyed. Adam you’ve done that already. When Helen Skelton, Becky Adlington and Mark Foster echoed his comments, it took me straight back to that grassy bank in Stratford, huddled next to our girl watching Olympic champions of all disciplines.
This morning me and the 12 year old Footballer / Cricket Player / Athlete went for a run. Actually he sprinted off, and I embarked for a third time on Couch to 5k. I’ve become a bit too couch potatoey, with shorter swims in the school holidays, and now’s the time to seek out the euphoria a really great run delivers. I’d quite like to fast forward straight to Week 8…
Tonight we’re setting our alarm for 2am. The boys team hunkering down in one newly named ‘boys’ dorm’, and the girls in the ‘get up and yell for Adam girls’ room’.
When the new training season starts in September, and we (that’s me the Chauffeur and her the Super Swimmer) take on a 6th training session (Friday mornings, 6am-7.30am) we’ll be thinking of Adam, of Becky and of Ellie.
PS The alarm went and we leapt out of bed. An hour and a half glued to the TV, jumping up and down and trying not to shout so loud as to wake the boys upstairs. Back to bed at 4.05am elated and so, so pleased for Adam Peaty, Jazz Carlin, their families, their coaches and Team GB.