So that was a pretty crazy couple of days. In my first interview after the race I said “I woke up on saturday morning, like a kid at Christmas, raring to go and get my presents” and in all honesty that’s how I felt I couldn’t wait to race because I felt fast and confident.
I’m not really going to describe the race as it all happened so quickly, all I know is that I got a good start and that laid the foundations for a good race, and the last 40m really hurt into the strong headwind. I feel really privileged to have been able to race in front of a home crowd, who were so amazing and enthusiastic, even if many may have been previously unfamiliar with the sport of sprint canoeing, but I’d like to think they enjoyed what they saw and i’ve been inundated with messages from people who were keen to go out and give it a try. you can find your nearest club here.
Now for the thank yous, as always the biggest thanks is reserved for my coach Alex Nikonorov, who without his knowledge and training I wouldn’t be where I am now (and his wife for letting him spend so much time away with us on training camps), my training partner Edd Cox who kept pushing me on training even though I was the one stealing all the limelight, my other training partners Liam Heath and Jon Schofield whose achievements I am so proud of, my parents who go to support me at every race I compete at (and some I don’t go to), my girlfriend Anya who has been very patient with me spending so much time away training and competing, GB Canoeing support staff & other athletes especially Ginny, Katherine, Angela, Mike and Ben, All the guys at Nelo, who make that company the best kayak manufacturer in the World, ACCA who have been patient with me fitting in my exams and studying around my kayaking, Oakley who have stopped me squinting so much and getting crows feet, UK Sport & Lottery funding who have made it possible for me to train full time and fully commit to my sport, the Gamesmakers who were all amazing ,so enthusiastic & cheerful even on day 15 of the Games and finally the crowd at Dorney and everyone who made the Games such an amazing experiance for me and making me proud to be British!
At this point I’d like to make a special mention to Tim Brabants, someone who has been a personal inspiration to me, whose athletic performance having competed in five Olympic finals in the course of his career, winning a gold and two other medals, most of the time being the outstanding performer of the British kayak team and virtually single handedly ensuring the future of our sport through his performances and also one of the nicest people I know who has always had time for others. I’m very proud to have trained with him in the course of my career and to have him as a friend.