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Super-Star: May 2013 Update

20th May 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 reached the final in last month’s FINA/Midea Diving World Series in Edinburgh.

Where did I leave you in my last blog? Hmm, oh yes I was preparing for Edinburgh World Series! Wow, now that was a fun trip.

The gym in Edinburgh is wonderful. It has an outdoor balcony with a view of Arthurs Seat, so in the event of sweating like a pig, you can simply step outside.

The competition began and crowds came out in their numbers to cheer on all the GB divers.

That feature tops the list to become my favourite of any gym. So the competition began and crowds came out in their numbers to cheer on all the GB divers. On the first day, the synchro pairs both dove really well and brought home two medals for the team!

Jack Laugher, Chris Mears, Alicia Blagg and I all had to prepare for our 3m semi finals the next day, a daunting challenge for the four of us. Alicia and I did so by going completely hyper in our hotel room in the evening.

We went from singing songs at the top of our lungs, to snuggled in bed watching films with biscuits and tea. I highly doubt this was the same for the boys.

My semi-final was good, I scored a new British Record by one point and came second. Combining the two semis resulted in a fourth place for me. This meant I progressed to the final and oh boy was the final fun.

Just as I was on the board for my fourth dive, I spotted Alicia on the other side of the pool. She did a little jive, I jived back.  It was all, jive jive jive. And then it dawned on me that actually I was being filmed, and that jiving was highly inappropriate. So I preceded to hold my breath and avoid eye contact in an attempt not to collapse into fits of giggles before my dive.

Finishing fourth in the final, I scored 338.20 in the final, which became the new British Record – wahoo! I loved that competition. Afterwards I could not contain my excitement during the press interview.

Gemma, who takes us through media, kept trying to calm me down but in the end we just had to let the interviewers deal with it, poor guys. On Sunday morning, my parents drove Alicia and I back to Leeds so that we could get on top of our school lives.

This unfortunately meant missing Tom and Tonia's performances but I watched the live finals in the evening so I didn't miss out on their amazing diving and Tom's gold medal!

It felt like mission impossible but with a lot of help and a lack of sleep, I managed to get it all done.

Crash. That was what happened when I went back to school. I crash landed at a phenomenal speed on to planet Earth. Suddenly I had a work load bigger than a really big work load and I did not know what to do about it. So I had a nap.

School was hard for the first week, having to catch up on all the work I had missed and also having to complete my Chemistry and Physics coursework.  The Chemistry was the hardest of the two because it was based on all of the work I had missed during my gallivanting across the globe.

It felt like mission impossible but with a lot of help and a lack of sleep, I managed to get it all done.

Just as I thought my life was getting back to normal, my teachers all simultaneously decided that it was a good time for a mock. No. That was not cool.

The second week back, I had a Chemistry mock, a mock of a Physics mock (don't ask, the Physics dept. are crazy), a Mechanics test and a Maths mock. Oh and I also had to redo parts of my Physics coursework. Could this get anymore stressful?

Apparently, yes. The music department hold a Spring Concert each year in which all the musical Leavers perform together for 5-10 minutes. A group of us had communicated a few weeks before and discussed some ideas.

It was now five days before the concert and nothing was getting done. So foolishly I decided to arrange it. I put together a four-minute compilation of about 16 songs and presented it to the group. Then came the lunchtime rehearsals, frantic practising and a true appreciation of coffee. In the end the performance went well but I can positively say that that week was the most stressful week of my life.

It's not like the stress stops there either. Two words, exam season. At the present moment I am in my school library, on the top floor, sat at a desk with my Macbook at my fingertips. I have just finished my Statistics exam and I had my Mechanics exam four days ago. That's two down and six to go. I have exams up until the 19th of June.

That is more than an entire month away, an entire month. I will be sure to update you as to how they go and, if I survive this period of my life, I will concoct another chapter of my blog so you can celebrate with me in my post-exam high. Oh, and I will officially be an adult by then!

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