SO much time and effort went in to my preparation for the Olympics; I thought I was perfectly prepared for it.
I wasn't. Nothing could have prepared me for how I felt when I walked out from behind the curtain into Wembley Arena for my first match.
Physically, I was in the best shape I could have been but, having never played in an Olympic Games before, never mind a home Olympics, I had no experience to draw upon, no way to cope with the nerves that hit me when I walked on court that first time. I was playing an opponent who was lower ranked than me, so there was an element of expectation that I would win my first match, but I was taking nothing for granted. There is no certainty in an Olympic Games – so many factors can have an influence over the result, most of all the pressure. I was not sure at all how I was going to cope with that. Thankfully, as the match progressed I settled down and I managed to play well and win, and so was able to relax slightly and enjoy the support of the crowd.
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