Two of Scarborough’s top coaches, Sarah Hill and Sam Greetham, are based in London for the 2012 London Olympic Games. Here’s what they’ve been upto.
FRIDAY AUGUST 3
What an exciting week! I can not describe the different emotions of excitement, relief, celebration and tiredness – but an experience I would definitely wouldn’t have missed!
Sam has changed roles this week, from a GB board member supporting the work of British Swimming to a representative of the FINA technical committee, who is going to be the referee on the open water swim next week.
He has spent many hours planning, supporting and preparing for this role, so alongside his daily swimming analysis with observers such as Prince William and David Cameron at the waterpolo he continues to ensure that the open water will be one of the highlights of the games.
After a slow start with the medals, the GB swimming team are beginning to collect the medals now, especially with Becky Adlington’s bronze and Jamieson’s Silver, the medals are beginning to increase – with the pool medals beginning to replicate those successes of Beijing.
In the water polo, it is the first time since 1956 that there has been a men’s waterpolo team and they have risen to the challenge even though they have been dealt a very difficult task, drawing the likely finalists of the competition in the early rounds.
The swimming highlight this week has to be the South African Chad Le Clos, who beat Michael Phelps to the 100m fly gold medal. Chad and his dad and the very gracious Phelps will go down in history as one the special memories of the Games.
Phelps, rightly so, went down in history as the most successful Olympian of all time with 20 medals to date, with other races to still take place.
Michael Jamieson, swam a phenomenal swim this week to achieve his silver medal – he is the highest ranking swimmer currently in the UK.
I think we need to comment on the BBC commentary of the games. The mix of Balding, Thorpe and Foster commentating on the swimming has been entertaining, informative and humourous at times.
Whereever you are; whether it be on the web, radio etc the information about the games is at your fingertips which is something we have never really seen so comprehensively before.
At the diving, the support and the atmosphere for every single dive similarly for every swim has been supported by the British public in such a positive and encouraging way.
Bureau members who have been to many Olympics have commented on how strongly the crowd have supported each athlete and this can be felt as soon as you walk into any of the venues.
SUNDAY AUGUST 5
What a day! Super Saturday indeed. I happened to be just outside Olympic Stadium when the three golds were achieved last night and I cannot describe the atmosphere, cheers and celebrations from all of the spectators watching from the live feed in the Stadium – a real honour to be there!
In the pool, unfortunately the GB swimmers have not performed as well as expected. The target was five medals, with a max of 9 and we have achieved three.
The last hopes for a medal were Fran Halsall in the 50m, which she did not manage to achieve and Kerri-Anne Payne is still left to swim in the open water 10km next week.
Rebecca Adlington’s performance should be celebrated, she is still the third fasted swimmer in the 800m in the world, however I think the pressure put upon her to achieve as well as she did was immense and I think this could be seen in the interview following the race.
I have a few days off now before preparing for the open water and I intend to do some sightseeing, whereas Sam’s FINA open water technical team are all landing over the next few days to prepare for the open water.
The serpentine looks amazing as I think we saw for the triathalon yesterday and I look forward to moving to the serpentine for the swim in the outdoors.
For the last two-three days there has been the ongoing competitions of diving and water polo that Sam has been watching alongside the support from the Royal family who are great supporters of these events.
Friday night was the evening of the FINA dinner at the Natural History Museum in central London, the event invited celebrities and officials from the whole world of swimming and was a very entertaining evening for all.