super saturday

The noise hangs heavy in the air,

I can touch the joy, the frenzy,

The glittering gold before it fades

Into a loving, distant dream.

The BBC replayed Super Saturday from the London 2012 Olympics this afternoon. For anyone not in the UK, it was the middle Saturday during the games when we won more gold medals than we had in over 100 years and three of those golds came in 45 minutes in the athletics stadium.

It really was an electric moment, for the whole country and not just for the athletes, and watching it brought back so many of those intense feelings that we experienced.

I think that everyone remembers that time fondly and we probably all have stories of amazing things that happened that summer. I do recall that we had a bit of a baby boom nine months later, so I am pretty sure there were lots of celebrations taking place during those weeks.

My personal memories were intensified by my own drama that was unfolding during those two weeks. I actually got the call to swim my first English Channel crossing on the first day of the games. It got cancelled at the last moment as the weather changed.

I was then lucky enough to have tickets to go and watch Michael Phelps swim and I spent the whole morning crying because I was so overcome. I then cried for the next week every time I watched an athlete win and see their dreams come true.

All through that first week I was waiting for another call for my rearranged swim. It finally came on the following Wednesday 8th August. I set off from the beach in Dover at 4am and arrived in France 12 hours and 42 minutes later.

It was a truly magical summer. I watched all of those athletes achieve their dreams and I was lucky enough to achieve mine at the same time. Those Olympics will live on in my memory forever.

Much Love

Rachel xx

olympic dreams

Four years,

Let me say that again, four years,

Of rising on the dark and rainy mornings,

Training til the body aches

With a tiredness, that soaks the bones,

All for one event

That seals the deal

And lifts your star to legendary height.

I’m watching some of the Olympic Rewind after work today. It breaks my heart to know that the Tokyo Games are being postponed, and I hope to God that they don’t get scrapped altogether.

I’m the kind of person that feels what these athletes do on such a deep level. I was a swimmer growing up (although I was never anywhere near Olympic level) so I know how crushing it is to not perform when you have set your sights on one event. To train for four years and then not perform must be heartbreaking.

I get so sucked into the Olympics because of the emotions that shine through during the competition. I love to watch the elation when people do well, and also the sadness when it all goes wrong.

One of the hardest things to watch is an athlete come second or fourth and then getting interviewed before they have time to even process what has happened. The emotion is so raw that it hurts to watch.

I’ve included a video below that shows just how powerful these moments can be. Even the presenter is struggling to hold it together by the end of this interview and I still remember watching it some twelves years on.

I will certainly miss the Olympics this year. The ups and the downs are addictive and I want my fix. I want to jump for joy and I want to cry. And the Olympics offer all of this and more.

Much Love

Rachel xx