Wooooo Hooooooo we did it. And pictures speak a thousand words. So this is what it looks like and feels like to qualify for a 5th Olympic games!
An explosion of emotion was how I described winning Gold on Bondi Beach and I would have to go as far to say that qualifying on the side of Fuzhou River in China, playing against China in front of 3000 Chinese fans, was as good a feeling! The pressures, physically, mentally, emotionally and financially this time around made it so much sweeter.
We played in Russia and Italy (to try and make the top 16, which we fell short of, getting as high as 19, which was a great effort under the circumstances) prior to flying into China to play in the continental cup final. Remembering that this format is similar to the Davis Cup tennis. So we were joined by another Aussie team to help us qualify.
Our first rubber was against Chinese Taipei, then Thailand and last round and the final was against China. All 4 of us played so great. Our other Aussie team (both girls only 18 years old) exceeding expectations so look out for them in Rio 2016. Taliqua Clancy and MariaFe Artacho will be the future of our sport.
It is the best feeling to make the Australian Olympic team for a record 5th time. Something that is hard to describe in words. We have been working so hard to get on the team and now the fun starts, booking flights for family and friends, accommodation, tickets (this is a challenge, as they are sold out, so my group of about 20 will have to get good at scalping!) I take on all this because I am a planner, and love the challenge of piecing it all together. So that is why I think it is fun!
We arrive in London July 21st, after a 2 week preparation in Germany and Austria. Once we get to London Tamsin and I stay in the village, which is the coolest place on earth. It is like living in Disneyland for a month. It will take a few days to get to know where everything is. Like the dining hall, the gym, the transport hall so we can get to and from horse Guards Parade (the amazing location for the beach volleyball). Once we have settled in we get down to business. Focusing on winning medals.
July 27th is the opening ceremony and the beach volleyball will start day 1. So check your guides on Chanel 9 and Foxtel to catch our games. Oh and if I am lucky, you may just see me carry the flag into the opening ceremony (but I won’t find that out until the night before….so stay tuned). I have walked behind 4 men in my time as an Olympian. So it is definitely time for a woman! That’s my story and I am sticking to it Keep an eye out… you may see me walking the streets with my flag for practice.
Make sure you practice your cheering… Aussie, Aussie, Aussie, Oi, Oi, Oi!!!!
I would also like to take the opportunity to thank everyone for your support over the past few years especially as they have definitely been some of the toughest!
Going for Gold!