I just recently read The Sunday Times 'A life in the day' interview with Helen Glover. She's one of our Olympic rowing champions, who, with her rowing partner Heather Stanning, are world, Olympic and European record holders. That's quite an achievement. The one thing that stood out for me was her commitment and the sacrifices that she's made in order to achieve this.
As you can imagine, Rio is uppermost in her mind at the moment and her training regime seems brutal. 2 hours training on the water, then a food break, then lower-intensity paddling. After lunch it's race preparation in the gym. A full day of training and preparation. If you've ever used a rowing machine at the gym you'll know that it takes it out of you, and that's only a short stint! Imagine doing all that and then going home knowing that tomorrow will be more of the same. Growing up she had to choose between a social life and training, quite a sacrifice to make for a young woman.
Did I mention that she's Cornish? Born in Truro and growing up in Penzance. So when she walks out in her GB kit at Rio she's also representing our county. Yes, she's highly competitive, but she's willing to put in the hours that are required to become an Olympic and world champion.
Helen Glover is just one example of the dedication required to make it to the top in sport. Jonny Wilkinson put in hours of kicking practice which all paid off when he kicked the final drop goal that gave England the win at the 2003 Rugby World Cup. Swimmers put in many hours of drills before and after school to make it to the top. I could go on. If you remember the tv programme 'Record Breakers' then you probably also remember a line from the theme song - Dedication's what you need.