Nicola Adams: 'The cheering gives me goosebumps,' says Olympic gold medallist
She boxed her way to an historic gold in front of ecstatic spectators. Here she describes her magical week to Emily Dugan
Emily Dugan is social affairs correspondent for The Independent, i and Independent on Sunday, covering Sarah Cassidy’s maternity leave. She was previously a news reporter for The Independent on Sunday. Her investigations into human trafficking have twice been awarded Best Investigative Article at the Anti-Slavery Day Media Awards and her human rights journalism was shortlisted for the Gaby Rado Memorial prize at the 2012 Amnesty Media Awards.
Sunday 12 August 2012
Sunday I don't do any training, just rest and try not to think too much about what a big day I've got tomorrow. I go and watch the lads in their boxing and then watch the rest of the Games on television. I've been watching whatever sport has been on and the athletics got me gripped – it was the 100m final and I cheered on Usain Bolt. Trying to sleep is difficult. I keep almost getting to sleep and then remembering what tomorrow is and feeling wide awake. I keep going around in circles telling myself, "I've got to box tomorrow, I need to sleep". In the end I only manage to get about five hours.
Monday The day of my first fight. I have a bowl of Frosties, like I do every morning. I cannot box without it, so that's standard procedure. I have a nap in the morning, to make up for the lost sleep last night.
The pressure really feels on because I know if I win I'll be in line for a medal, and I'm not going to accept losing on the first day. I fight really hard and beat Bulgaria's Stoyka Petrova 16-7. I'm so relieved to have got myself in this position. Whatever happens now I know that I've got a medal.
Tuesday I go with a couple of the boxers and see the new film, Ted, at Westfield in Stratford to take my mind off it all. It's a good film and it does the job. We do a light training session but nothing too heavy because I have a big fight tomorrow. I go on the internet and then play Call of Duty and The Walking Dead on the PlayStation. Anything that takes my mind completely off boxing.
Wednesday Semi-final day and another great day of boxing. Mary Kom is a five-time world champion and probably the favourite going into the competition. But I stick to my tactics and I feel sure I can do it. The final score is 11-6 and I'm so happy. After the bout I go back to the village, stretch out and then head straight to my bedroom to rest and chill out. I know I have the biggest day of all tomorrow and I want to make my country proud.
Thursday I wake up thinking today is the day and I really have to perform to get this gold medal. Ren Cancan has been in two world finals, but I really think this is my time, it's my time to win. After the fight, when my hand is raised and the crowd starts cheering, it gives me goosebumps, and the hairs stand up on the back of my neck. I just think, "Yes! I've won, I'm Olympic champion". Immediately afterwards I go straight into media work and it's a while later that I see my family. They are so happy for me and also just pleased to see me because I've been in isolation in the village the last few weeks, cut off from the world.
Friday What a surreal day. Lots and lots of interviews and I even get to ride in the back of a Rolls-Royce. I meet Russell Brand at a hotel where I am filming and throughout the day I meet Dizzee Rascal, Chris Evans and Lennox Lewis. This is a really great day. It's just crazy and I can't believe all the support. It's a great feeling having all these people supporting you. I'll be sitting in the car and people will be waving and waving and saying well done. It's nice to be appreciated.
Saturday It's finally sinking in now, I think. I still can't believe the response Ω everybody is coming up to me and wanting photos. I didn't realise how widely I'd been watched and how many people I'd touched. It is like the whole world must have been boxing with me. I'm still waiting to have a drink. I've just been doing media and seeing my family. I'm looking forward to the moment when I'll finally get to relax. Then I'll have a big glass of champagne.
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