Elly Gandy’s Postcard from Oz - April 2012
Hi. I’m Elly Gandy. I used to swim for Beckenham until my dad got a job in Melbourne so my whole family relocated to Australia. I won my first World Championship medal in Shanghai last year and last month I qualified to compete at my second Olympic Games at the British Gas Swimming Championships in London…
It's only been one month and the Olympic Trials already feel like a lifetime ago!
To be honest I was SO nervous for Trials it all seems like a blur when I look back, but the one thing that probably stands out the most for me is how at home I felt.
It was the coolest feeling in the world seeing people in the crowd from back home; family, parents of people that I used to train with, family friends - it seemed like everyone had come out to support and it really made a massive difference.
I’m so happy with how everything went at Trials. I really couldn’t have planned it to go smoother.
The pool was amazing, I hadn’t seen any pictures of it so had no idea what to expect. The first time I walked in I got goose bumps (like most people probably!). I honestly can’t believe we have a pool like that in England!
It’s going to be so great at Olympics and I think it’s going to be even better after the Games, hopefully encouraging more people into swimming. I mean, who wouldn’t want to learn how to swim in an Olympic pool?
I flew straight home after Trials because I really needed to unwind and chill out. Olympic Trials are so stressful, not just for me but my mum too. I think we both needed a rest - living out of a suitcase and in hotels for a few weeks is tiring in itself.
The rest of my team competed at the Aussie trials the week I got home. It was brilliant being able to watch it on the TV knowing that I was already going.
I think we both needed a rest - living out of a suitcase is tiring in itself.
They had some great races but unfortunately no one from my team made it. It really hit home to me how special it was to make the team and how devastating it is when people close to you don’t achieve what they have trained so hard for.
I only had two or three weeks back in Aus before I flew back to London again for the Olympic training camp.
I think it’s the first time I’ve flown back home since I moved to Aus when I haven’t been nervous on the plane ride!
Usually I’m flying over for selection trials or other racing so I’m normally trying hard not to think about racing and trying desperately to distract myself with things.
It was lovely to just be completely chilled out on the plane and enjoy meeting up with the team in a completely relaxed environment. I had a great time training at the Olympic Pool. It was strange to see it without any banners or cameras or anything.
I really felt the advantage of having the Olympics at home when we got to train there. Just being in the pool and getting comfortable with the surroundings and where everything is, it's really going to help us when the Olympics come around and the place is packed out.
Being in the pool and getting comfortable with the surroundings - it's really going to help us when the Olympics come around.
Being with the team was great too. A group of us went to see the Lion King at the West End - it was UNREAL. I’d heard such great things about it from so many people but that still didn’t prepare me for how amazing it was!
I forgot how much I loved the theatre and I’ve decided to go and see a show for my birthday when the Olympics are over.
I didn’t have a break after trials because I wanted to keep in the water, so when I got back from the Olympic camp I decided to go and have a long weekend down the beach, just to unwind for a few days and catch up on some rest.
All the travelling over the last few weeks had totally taken it out of me mentally and physically. My boyfriend and I went down the 'Great Ocean Road' and stayed in the Otway National Park right by the sea.
It was SO cool, it was a part of Aus I hadn’t really explored before. We went on lots of hikes and they have an Otway treetop walk, where you can walk on this metal path that takes you along the top of the trees (these trees are about 20m high!).
It was pretty cool, I felt like I was in Jurassic
Park or something because the place was
completely untouched and so beautiful. I got
to see some wild Koalas as well, they are
So now I’m home and feeling very refreshed!
My group is back together and I’m back into
normal routine of training so I’m looking
forward to a few weeks of structure!
Our team is going to California at the end of May for some racing so I’m VERY excited for that.