Diary of an Olympian: 'World's best bring out the best in me'
Larry Godfrey had a mixed week. The GB archer scored his highest ever score but his team was knocked out by Ukraine. Now, it's the individuals...
Emily Dugan is Social Affairs Editor for The Independent, i and Independent on Sunday. 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. Emily is on sabbatical until March 2015
Sunday 29 July 2012
At last, a day off and a lie in after all those 6.30am starts. No shooting all day, so I wake up at 10am in the Olympic village. Me, Alan [Wills] and Simon [Terry] go around Hyde Park. We are dressed in civvies so nobody knows we are athletes. The sun is out and you can feel everyone is anticipating it. We people-watch a bit and have a really relaxing day. When we get back to Stratford, I nearly don't get out because I somehow managed to lose my 12-month athlete's Oyster card. I just flash accreditation and say "You have to let me out" and they wave me through. We have a chilled-out rest in the athletes' village. On my first night there, last week, I had a Big Mac meal, but now I'm eating a lot of chicken. We brought a projector screen with us, so we have our own cinema, watching The Green Lantern and The Dictator, which was quite good fun.
Get up at about 7am and head down to Lord's. We practise until 12, stopping for lunch, then another session until 3pm. The village is getting busier now but we don't mix much with the other athletes. Everyone keeps to themselves in the Team GB House. I've got a travel keyboard and my friend Alan has a little ukulele which he likes to play, so we have a little jam session. We're not any good, but it takes our mind off competing.
Get up and pack up – we won't be back in the village until we've finished competing now. We travel to Lord's and our staff take all our bags to the hotel nearby. After practice, we settle in and unpack. I watch Ice Age 3 on television. I like my films – it's nice to be able to switch the brain off. If I start thinking about competing too much, I play a game or put a film on. I really want the competition to start now.
Getting into a routine now. Up at 6.30am and in bed by 10.30pm. It's a case of getting the body and the mind relaxed and ready. I play a game on my iPad called Water Crocodile. My daughters (Shelbie, 15, and Chloe, 13) stuck it on there and I'm hooked on it now. I speak to my fianceé, Becks (Rebecca Hocking) every night on the phone or on Skype, and we catch up on what we've been doing. We're trying to do our house up at the minute, so tonight we talk about light fittings. It's nice to get a bit of normal life.
Training as normal all day. We're just trying to keep the same routine. In the evening I watch Weird Science, a good old Eighties film. It's about two young lads who create a woman. Start looking online at armchairs to do up our new place and send Becks some pictures of wingback armchairs. It all starts tomorrow but I'm trying not to think about it.
I wake up nervous at the hotel, not knowing what to expect and wanting to shoot well. The first end [round] I shoot is below my average and I think "Oh dear". It's a 54 and it makes me think, "Oh no, what is today going to bring". Then I relax into it and get some fantastic scores. After the first end, I am in about 33rd position, but afterwards I end up shooting a personal best. I'm pleased with the result because I came here to shoot a personal best. I'm a tiny bit surprised that a 680 has got me fourth, but then it's the Olympics. It's a big deal and you look at the Koreans and they smashed it. I'm so glad it's started now and it's nice it went well.
I wake up earlier than usual because we're the first match on. Everything went OK: the shooting was good but the scores just weren't there. The Ukrainian team [which eliminated Team GB from the group competition] were just absolutely fantastic. This afternoon we trained for the individual archery event.
Larry Godfrey was talking to Emily Dugan
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