BBC BLOGS - Annabel Vernon

An emotional farewell and back to reality

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Annabel Vernon | 15:28 UK time, Friday, 28 September 2012

It is a fact of elite sport that you rarely get to choose the way you retire.

There are some who finish on the immense high of an Olympic gold, there are many more whose last moment of being an international athlete might be losing a selection trial, or finally giving up the battle against injury one morning in March.

Steve Redgrave is a name that will forever be associated with Olympic glory. Alison Knowles and Hester Goodsell were not names that even made it on to the Team GB list this summer, as both retired in the spring after winters blighted by illness and injury.

Everybody dreams of the fairytale ending but only a tiny number of people actually achieve it.

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Proud and confused - but that's sport

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Annabel Vernon | 11:37 UK time, Monday, 3 September 2012

I have been trying to write this blog for most of the last fortnight and what I have wanted to say has changed every day.

The logical part of my brain tells me I have got so much to be proud of. I am a two-time Olympian, part of an elite group. I won a silver medal at the 2008 Games in Beijing and have stood on the podium at three World Championships since then.

To then represent my country at a home Olympics is an indescribable honour. However, the emotional part of my brain leaves me feeling confused about London 2012.

How should I feel about coming fifth in the final of the women's eight? How should I feel about all that has happened in the last eight years, the incredible highs and horrific lows?

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Hard work is done, time for nerves of steel

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Annabel Vernon | 14:28 UK time, Friday, 20 July 2012

This blog comes to you from Lago di Varese in northern Italy, where we're putting the final touches to our preparation for the Olympic Games.

We transfer to Dorney Lake early next week with the Olympic regatta starting on Saturday morning.

The heats for the women's eight are scheduled to start the day after that, which leaves us the best part of a week before battle commences.

What we're trying to do out here is absolutely not to come up with a performance that will win us the Olympics.

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