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13 November 2014

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You are in: Wear > People > People Features > Back from Beijing

Vicki Barr at work

Vicki Barr back at work

Back from Beijing

Even though Vicki Barr did not get to run at the Olympics, the athlete from Chester-le-Street explains why the 2008 Olympics in Beijing was an experience she will never forget.

The 2008 Olympics in Beijing are over, all of our athletes have returned safely back on British ground and there is definitely an air of confidence ahead of the London Olympics in 2012 including our very own Vicki Barr.

Vicki was part of the GB 4x400 relay squad, and got to travel to China and truly soak up the atmosphere.

The team achieved fifth place overall but Vicki was cheering the girls on from the sidelines as she was not picked to race by the selectors just 24 hours before the big day.

"It's my first year of doing the 400 metres, so to get to the Olympics is a massive achievement for me."

Vicki Barr

"It wasn't all frustrating," Vicki explains. "Obviously when I found out I wasn't racing in the relay, it was a bit gutting, a bit disappointing but I had three quality weeks of training out there with some great girls, I got to be in amongst it, I know exactly what I need to do and learned a lot from them.

"I still think we ran well, it was hard to watch but everyone was really supportive for the girls but at the end of the day I went to the Olympics.

"It's my first year of doing the 400 metres, so to get to the Olympics is a massive achievement for me and I've just got to progress from there, just stay determined, stay motivated and keep going - which I will do."

The life of an Olympic athlete

With the relay races being towards the end of the second week of the Olympics, Vicki had a lot of time to fill between training but insists it was far from just a holiday.

She said: "You have to keep training, when all the other events have finished and they're celebrating you have to stay focused and just keep training hard.

Kelly Sotherton and Nicola Sanders

Nicola Sanders and Kelly Sotherton

"For me, it was my first experience of being in something like that but it was not just athletics, it was other sports as well.

"So I got to have an insight to see what that was all about. We supported the swimmers, judo team, so it was great to see how other sports do things and not just to be around athletes all the time.

"I did keep a diary while I was out there just to let everyone know exactly what the Olympics was about as much as possible just to let them know what I was getting up to on and off the track and let them see an insight into the athletes life while we were away and hopefully I did that."

You can read Vicki's diary by clicking here:

In four years time...

Vicki witnessed the handing over of the Olympic flag to the Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, first hand while being at the official closing ceremony and is already looking forward to 2012.

Vicki remembers: "As soon as you walked into the stadium, the crowd were cheering and there was dancers and then Leona Lewis came on and David Beckham, so that was good enough! It was really well organised.

"I'm determined to be [at the 2012 London Olympics], I'm more motivated than ever and I've got four years with my coach and I do believe I can do it."

last updated: 29/08/2008 at 14:51
created: 29/08/2008

You are in: Wear > People > People Features > Back from Beijing

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