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It is almost as if the life and world I was living in for the past four years has just expired, blown up in a puff of smoke and fireworks. I know it all happened but it almost seems unreal, looking back now.

There are no 6am alarm clocks, the carbon footprint I used to create commuting down the M4 to the GB Rowing training base near Reading, has gone from excessive to almost non-existent; the washing machine is practically dormant, and my food bills must have decreased by about 70%.

I used to spend five or six hours training each day, I am now spending that time slowly working through a four-year long to-do list, and figuring out what I am going to do with my life.

Continue reading "What do I do now?"

Recent entries

Thursday's parade in London completely blew me away. It was a day I will never forget and one that confirmed my belief that the London Olympics in 2012 are going to be more passionate than any other.

Just seeing the emotion on some people's faces in the crowd brought me to tears; people shouting "thank you" and "well done" and jumping up and down. But really it was us that wanted to say "thank you" to them.

When everything is hurting during a race and you've tried everything, it is the knowledge that so many people back home and in the crowds are willing us on that carries us over the line. The support and enthusiasm of the British people are like nothing else I've ever experienced.

Continue reading "Tide of emotion in Trafalgar Square"

The dust has been settling over the past few days and although I don't think our disappointment at not winning the gold will ever go away, I am beginning to put things into more perspective day by day.

We actually had a great race and I honestly don't know what we could have done to go faster.

If I had my day again I wouldn't change what we did; physically and tactically we put together the best race we ever have; we went as fast as we possibly could on the day. And as an athlete this is the most I have ever asked of myself.

Continue reading "Gradually putting silver in perspective"

It's so hard to describe how it feels as we make the final preparations for Sunday's final.

We have spent the week working on all the aspects of rowing and our racing that we think could possibly give us more boat speed.

We were pleased with our heat, and it was a good win for us, but we know that the final will be on an entirely different level.

Continue reading "Women's quad enter final countdown"

It is now pre-pre-race day - two days to go for us, one day for the smaller boats, and just a few hours until the opening ceremony.

Unfortunately, we cannot march in the stadium though, as the ceremony goes on until very late; it would be like going out for a big night out two days before racing.

It is a real shame, as the opening ceremony in Sydney was absolutely awes-inspiring and an experience I will never forget.

Continue reading "Rowers having our own opening ceremony"


I am glad we were prepared for the heat out here as it is incredible.

Imagine your mother is standing in the doorway on a hot summer's day with the thickest winter feather duvet she has. She wraps you around and around in it and then tucks in all the edges, then gives you a big hug, rubbing up and down to create more heat, before you try and walk off.

Then, when you try to breath it is like being in bed and putting the duvet over your head to cut out the light and make it dark. You can hardly breathe because the air is so hot and oppressive.

Continue reading "Like the week before Christmas - but far hotter"

We have been in Beijing for 36 hours now and it has been non-stop excitement!

We had a good flight from Heathrow and amazingly all 50kg of my kit and bits and pieces made it too.

A few hours later my emotions started to run pretty high when we went down to the rowing course to rig our boat and test out the water.

Continue reading "Olympic excitement finally hits"

We fly out to Beijing on Wednesday and the excitement is really building. Apparently we have done 308 days of preparation so far this year.

So adding up all the years since I have been rowing and dreaming about this kind of opportunity, I make that roughly 4,299 days of preparation.

But that is too many days to think about at the moment, so I'm just taking it one day at a time, one session at a time, relishing the moment we are in.

Continue reading "Over 4,000 days of Olympic preparation"

I've been on the GB team since I was 14 and just love the feeling of moving a boat, preferably fast!.

I have raced in the women's quad for the past five years, won silver in Athens in 2004 and am taking part in my third Olympics.

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