The athlete: Lisa Dobriskey
Saturday 27 December 2008
For Lisa Dobriskey the Beijing Olympics might have been one of those breaking points which so regularly invite a young athlete to step back from the challenge that has consumed so much of their lives. She had had the opportunity to reach out for the kind of achievement that made Kelly Holmes a Dame and Rebecca Adlington the instant darling of the British sports public.
A drug bust had stripped the women's 1,500 metres of some of its most potent contenders, including the Russians Yelena Seboleva and Tatyana Tomashova. But Dobriskey, who won Commonwealth gold two years ago, finished one place out of the medals.
"At such a time," says Dobriskey, "it is hard to contain your disappointment. You think of all the work you have done and all the optimism you took to the track." Then, if you are determined enough, you realign your ambitions and swear that you will do the work all over again.
"After Beijing I had to ask myself how much I wanted to taste the kind of success enjoyed by Kelly Holmes in Athens and the other British women who stood at the top of the podium." There are not so many: Holmes, Mary Rand, Ann Packer, Mary Peters, Tessa Sanderson, Sally Gunnell, Denise Lewis and Christine Ohuruogu. Dobrisky saw Ohuruogu join the pantheon and realised the depth of her ambition.
You might think at the age of 24 Dobriskey has gone beyond the circle of gilded youth. But on the track she remains almost a baby. Holmes was 30 when she gained Olympic bronze at Sydney and she went to Athens under a shadow of persistent injury. Dobriskey argues that she will bounce back stronger from her disappointment. It is a resolve that will make her one of the most compelling stories of London 2012.
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 Replica Back to the Future Hoverboard released
- 3 Gamers confess the worst things they've done in The Sims
- 5 Modern society encapsulated in five seconds
Costa Concordia: Shipment of Mob drugs was hidden aboard cruise liner when it hit rocks off Italian coast, investigators say
Germanwings crash: Captain of doomed plane was only 'on board because he changed job to spend more time with his children'
Iran nuclear talks: Prospect of deal with Iran pushes Saudi Arabia and Israel into an unlikely alliance
A new (old) cure for MRSA? Revolting recipe from the Dark Ages may be key to defeat infection
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Jeremy Clarkson sacked live: Alan Yentob 'wouldn't rule out' ex Top Gear host's BBC return
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
£35000 - £38000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This dynamic outsourced contact...
£19000 - £21000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: An excellent opportunity for a ...
£28000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Group HR Advisor with an established...
£40 - 50k (DOE) + Bonus: Guru Careers: We are seeking a HR Manager / HR Genera...