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Transition Time: London 2012 Part One

27th September 2012

The British synchronised swimmers made history this summer, competing at the Team Event at an Olympic Games for the first time in history. Swimming.org blogger Asha Randall fills us in on her London 2012 experience.

MOVING DAY

On 23 July, the excitement at the Aldershot HPC was just untouchable. It was the day we would finally go to the London Olympic Village!

Biz wanted us to get the 'woo' factor out of the way so when we left and came back we would be able to focus in complete comp mode.

When we arrived and had collected our accreditations we were taken to the Team GB blocks and shown to our apartments. I shared a room with Katie Skelton while Olivia Federici and my sister Jenna were in the same apartment.

We were greeted with a few Team GB gifts on our beds which included a Team GB robe, blanket and a Pride the Lion.

The facilities in the Village were amazing - the food court was HUGE and it had every type of food under the sun.

There was an amazing gym, lots of food and coffee stands around the whole of the Village, a shop where they sold London 2012 memorabilia, a beauty salon and also a place called the Globe where the athletes could go to chill, interact and socialise with other athletes. In the Globe they had pool tables; foosball, Wiis and also a different live band would play every night.

Synchronised swimming wasn’t until near the end of the Games but our coach Biz Price wanted us to go into the Village early to get the ‘woo’ factor out of the way so when we left and came back nearer our competition we would know what to expect and be able to focus in complete comp mode.

It’s really surreal walking around the Village or eating in the food hall and just seeing athletes like Usain Bolt and Bradley Wiggins walk past or Sir Chris Hoy walking into the lift and making conversation with you. It was amazing to meet all of them and they were so willing to talk to you and ask how your finding the Games.

The Opening Ceremony

We were in the village for five days from the 23 – 28 July so we were lucky enough to be a part of the Opening Ceremony! This was just an amazing experience and a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.

Team GB had to meet outside our block at 21:45 to be ready to walk to the stadium. We were put into height order within our sports and we ended up being in the front two rows with the divers.

The walk to the stadium took a couple of hours - we had to queue the whole length of the Olympic park so there was a lot of standing around! But when we finally got into the tunnel of the stadium and could see the entrance, that was when the utter excitement and nerves really kicked in!

It was midnight when we finally walked out as Team GB and the feeling was incredible; the cheers of the crowd, the size of the stadium and just being able to experience it all was such an amazing feeling and I’ll never forget it.

The cheers of the crowd, the size of the stadium and just being able to experience it all was such an amazing feeling and I’ll never forget it.

After we had paraded the ceremony went by quite quickly. The two highlights of the night were definitely walking out with Team GB and seeing the Olympic torch being lit. It was so beautiful and so incredible to witness in person.

We didn’t get back to the Village until about 2am and we were starving as we hadn’t eaten since 19:00 so we headed straight to the food hall. I think every country had the same idea because it was absolutely packed!

The following day we travelled back to Aldershot to stay in a hotel and train back at our home pool. This was really good for us because once the swimming competition had started, we didn’t have any practice time in the Olympic pool.

It was hard being away from the village and the buzz of it all but we made sure we all watched the Games together in the evenings at the hotel to support our team.

Closing in

We returned to the village on 1 August and trained twice a day leading up to our competition.

Biz suggested we all went as a team to watch a swimming session so we could hear the crowd and know what to expect. This was a great chance for us to get a taste of the home crowd and we were lucky enough to have been in the Aquatic Centre when Michael Jamieson won his silver medal in the 200m Breaststroke.

Of the other nations, we only really saw Egypt and China training as they were the two countries we would share music time with, so the first time I saw the new Russian routine was in the Team Free final.

It was a very long process, especially for us girls competing in just the Team event as our comp days weren’t until 9 and 10 August. Lots of athletes were finishing and others were still competing, and we were still just training.

It's safe to say by the time our event came along we were definitely ready!

The night before the Team Tech I don’t remember being nervous - I was more excited to finally be competing!

The night before the Team Tech I don’t remember being nervous - I was more excited to finally be competing!

The competition wasn’t until 3pm but we had an early music time so we had to be up and on the bus for 6am.

As our music time was so early we then had time to go back to the Village and do our hair and have lunch before heading to the Aquatic Centre. We then had another training session in the competition pool before the event finally started...

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