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Super-Star: June 2013 Update

4 July 2013

Teenager Hannah Starling reached the 3m Springboard semi-final on her Olympic debut at London 2012. She fills us in on her progress in 2013, having finally seen the back of her A-level exams.

I hope you'll be glad to know that I survived my last six exams. They weren't nice at all but are they ever? No. So that period of my life is over.

Never again do I have to step foot in the building of the Grammar School at Leeds. Actually wait yes, yes I do, I have to go and hand all my textbooks in which I think I should have already done, oops.

Never again do I have to step foot in the building of the Grammar School at LeedsThat aside, I feel slightly empty. You know I was looking forward to finishing my exams and I was psyched up to finally be on summer holiday. Alas, then my dad spoke to me.

He described how every bit of knowledge I currently have in my head, having put hours of work into getting it there, will never all be there again.

He also got me thinking, which is never a good thing. I began thinking about everything I know, like all the colour changes and reactions of transition metals with various different compounds, or why the voltage and current are induced within a transformer and I concluded that this is all now useless to me, completely useless.

It made me sad. So thanks dad!

On the bright side, however, now I can finish watching Friends! I've been trying to watch it in order because Josh Dowd gave them to me and there are a few random ones which I haven't seen. I do need to get on the plane now however... I didn't choose the right time to write my blog!

I like planes, they're big metal objects that can fly. A bit like Iron Man except nowhere near as cool and the commercial ones don't fire weapons and they aren't powered by a tiny piece of metal and they fit more than one person in and most of them don't fight crime. So actually I guess they aren't really like Iron Man at all. Hmm. I suppose I'd better go catch my flight now and observe the human race from the sky whilst possibly imagining how cool it would be to be Iron Man, who knows.

Hannah Starling Sue Ryder Award

Apart from my exams, I also won a Sue Ryder award for Yorkshire Young Achiever of the Year. It was a fabulous event.

More than 600 women in a room with less than 50 men, ha! Anyway I went with the following life forms: my parents, Edwin [Jongejans, coach], the two people who nominated me, Linda and a couple other family friends. We had a delicious meal, popped balloons for charity and took part in an auction.

This was all in aid of the Sue Ryder foundation which helps care for people with long term illnesses. The work they do is really amazing and I recommend anyone who collects for charity at school to collect for them.

Once we were full, they started to announce the awards. There were six in total – Business, Sport, Education, Youth, Courage and the Overall Woman of the Year. There are over half a million words in the English language and I cannot string any number of them together to describe just how shocked I was that I was named Young Achiever of the Year.

I honestly was not expecting it at all. I have never been so speechless and gobsmacked in my entire life. When they announced it I went up it to the stage, accompanied by two very fetching men may I add, and said my thank yous to everyone. I really am still honoured to have been presented with this award!

OH MY GOSH WE GET FOOD! You have no idea how excited I am about this so I'll just postpone my stories for a second as the man with the trolley on the plane is bringing food. I am so hungry this is perfect. Oh I'm on the plane to Berlin at the moment, heading over to Rostock for Europeans which will be my first competition as an adult! Oh I nearly forgot - my birthday!

Hannah Starling on her birthdayI woke up at 04.28 on June 12th 2013 and proceeded to relish my last ever two minutes as a 17-year old. I often get nostalgic before my birthday because it's the last days of ever being that particular age. I remember the day before my 10th birthday I was really upset that I'd never be the age of a single digit number again. Oh I am weird!

Anyway I was born at 04.30 and once that time arrived I popped off back to sleep as an 18-year old waking up as per usual at 07.30. I yawned my way into the kitchen to be greeted by 'Happy 18th Birthday” banners everywhere and presents on the table. I was so surprised!

For some reason I didn't expect it even though it happens every year! I'm not going to tell you what presents I received for reasons I don't really know but be assured I have enough shampoo to last me the best part of a year.

My best friend and some family came round in the evening for a spectacular chicken dinner, including THE most amazing stuffing – seriously it was so good I wanted to cry. I did really enjoy my birthday despite having to do revision for my physics A-Level the next day, urgh.

Oh and I also went to the Queen's Garden Party. That was fun. My mum booked us first class train tickets and omg first class is amazing. It was my first experience of the sort and the best part was the free food, not to mention the free Yorkshire Tea!

Hannah Starling Yorkshire TeaWhen we arrived in London we met up with my sister, who lives there, and she caught the tube with us to Buckingham Palace. I ate enough nibbles of scones and canapes during the afternoon that I couldn't face the thought of food for about seven hours (which is a lot for me).

The Queen was so adorable, I love her to bits. I have so much respect for her and she walked straight through the aisle which we had made for her and we clapped and she smiled and it was all really nice. Good day!

I am not entirely sure how to end this one, I guess this is a bit abrupt. But er yeah, The End.

PS. You can look forward to my next blog from training camp in Majorca!

European Champs 2016