Hannah Miley: Just two weeks left until I dive in for what will be the biggest moment of my life
MY next race will be the 400m individual medley at the 2012 Olympics Games in London. Amazing. All these years of hard work will be put to the test two weeks today – and I’m so pleased that preparations continue to go very smoothly.
I had swithered over whether to compete at the Scottish National Open Championships, but was so pleased that I did choose to compete at the Commonwealth Pool. I won six golds and a silver medal – I set a PB in finishing second in the 100m freestyle – and every time was better than I expected.
I didn’t just compete at the pool. I was also in the water early in the morning to fit in some training and used the gym facilities for some strength and conditioning work. It was a hard few days, but very worthwhile.
I’ll be back at the Commonwealth Pool on Wednesday with the rest of the GB squad for the Olympic holding camp. We then move into the Games village in London the following Tuesday – just three days before the Opening Ceremony.
Not that I will be at the 27 July extravaganza – I’ll be in my own little bubble preparing for the biggest day of my life. The 400m IM heats are on the first morning of the swimming, 28 July, and then the final is in the evening. I hope you will be watching.
It’s been a fantastic experience preparing for the Olympics, and I have so many people to thanks. My Dad, Patrick, has been with me all the way as my coach, and my Mum (Carmel) and my brothers, Alastair and Joseph, have also been incredibly supportive. I couldn’t have done it without them.
I must also pay tribute to Gitte Whitehead, the assistant coach at Garioch.
She has also been behind the whole process. At the Scottish Open Championships, Alastair, Emily Jones and Orla Adams all made finals and that is a tribute to the programme that Dad and Gitte have out together.
Inverurie might not be the ideal choice of base for someone wanting to be an Olympic swimmer, but it has worked for me.
I do go to Stirling quite regularly for some long course training – but the Garioch Pool is where most of the work has taken place.
It will be great to be in Edinburgh with rest of my team mates. And I can assure Rebecca Adlington and the rest of Team GB that they will have the very best of facilities at the Commonwealth Pool and at the Edinburgh University gym at the Pleasance.
The refurbishment has made the pool much deeper and it is going to be perfect for the very final fine-tuning. There are another five Scots in the team – Caitlin McClatchey, David Carry, Michael Jamieson, Robbie Renwick and Craig Benson – and I know they are all very happy to get the chance to have the final few days of build-up to the Olympics so close to home.
At the moment, my overwhelming feeling is one of excitement. I know I couldn’t have done any more to get ready for London 2012 and I have faith in my Dad and my training schedule.
Of course, there are also nerves. But I’m determined to enjoy it as much as possible. My second Olympics in a home pool – it really is a once in a lifetime opportunity and I’m very fortunate to be part of it all. Beijing was fantastic, but London is going to be even better.
I’m sure the whole country is going to be swept up by Olympic fever and I am confident that Team GB swimmers will make the country proud. I really do want to soak up the whole experience and enjoy every minute. Thanks everyone for the great support. Now wish me luck.
• Hannah Miley is the European and Commonwealth Games 400m individual medley Champion and she won the silver medal at the World Championships in Shanghai last July. She has qualified to compete for Team GB in the 400m and 200m individual medley at the Olympic Games starting a week on Friday. Hannah is sponsored by Kellogg’s www.kelloggs.co.uk/swimming
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