Transition Time: London 2012 Part Two
3rd October 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.
I remember being quite nervous waiting in the last call room before the Tech swim.
In the technical routine you have to be on point on all of the elements and there is always the fear of being slightly off or having a slight wobble on a spin so I'm always a little more nervous for the tech compared to the free routine.
Walking out in front of the home crowd for the first time was absolutely incredible. The cheering was so loud that we had to organise beforehand that the team would do a head nod to let the counter at the back know that we could hear them once they said ready!
We had a really good Tech swim and it gave us a really good base for the Team Free event the next day.
On the Team Free day we were swimming first so had another early music time and this time we had to stay at the competition pool during lunch because the transition time was quite short.
Training with the music went really well so we had about an hour and a half for lunch and to do our hair and makeup. We then got back into the pool for the last training session before the competition.
Before the parade of the teams I remember feeling so nervous but also so excited to hear that home crowd and be able to soak it in properly.
Swimming first was really good for us. As our coach always says 'we were setting the standard’. I also think it was great for the home crowd to see their team start off the competition.
Their support was so amazing and really motivated and pushed us to the end. As soon as we finished, the roar of the cheers was just overwhelming and definitely an experience I will never forget.
She said she couldn’t see any mistakes in that performance and that it was definitely our best swim yet.
The swim went really well for us and we had improved our technical and execution marks from the day before which was amazing to see. Our US coach Tammy McGregor was watching in the athlete stands and said she couldn’t see any mistakes in that performance and that it was definitely our best swim yet. That was such a great thing to hear!
Our Olympic ambassador Robin Cousins was also watching in the stands and he was so pleased with our performance. He made all of our events in both duet and team and it was so great to have him there supporting and watching us.
He even came to watch a few of our music times at the Aquatic Centre too to help. He has been such an amazing ambassador, he’s so hands on and willing to help and give us feedback.
We were very lucky to have been able to work with him and I hope we have the chance to in the future.
Throughout the Games I had received so many good luck messages and Tweets but as soon as we had finished competing the comments and messages I was getting were so overwhelming.
I was getting so many positive messages on Twitter and Facebook. It was unreal how many people loved the synchronised swimming competition and loved our routines!
We even had other Team GB athletes and staff coming up to us saying how much they loved our Team Free event and they never knew how hard and interesting synchronised swimming was. The buzz from after we swam was amazing and the comments from the public and athletes really meant so much.
Leaving the Village
Leaving the Village was very tough and a sad day for all the athletes. It was so weird going back to normality and having to pay for things! It felt so quiet being home and not having so many athletes around you and seeing your Team GB friends every day.
I managed to get away for two weeks in Marbella with my sister, Katie Skelton from our team and two other girls. It was nice to just relax, go to a water park and soak up the sun!
We even managed to visit one of my friend’s primary school in Marbella to talk about our Olympic experience. It’s amazing being able to share this with young children and to get them into sport and really inspiring a generation.
During my time off I’ve also been involved with the British Gas British Swimming Heroes tours.
This is where all aquatic sports come together and teach all the kids the individual sport in groups. I travelled to London, Glasgow, Swansea and Coventry and the tours were such a great idea and it was lovely to see all the aquatic Olympians’ in such short spaces of time.
It was lovely to be able to show and teach all the kids synchronised swimming and there were definitely some synchro stars in the pool, girls and boys!
We also had the Team GB ‘Our Greatest Team’ Olympic and Paralympic parade in London. All the athletes were on floats and were taken through London in what was an absolutely amazing day.
The number of people who turned up and filled the streets of London was unbelievable and the atmosphere of the whole day was incredible - definitely another Olympic experience I will never forget.
Hard work starts again
In our six-week break we have needed to train in our own time away from the centre to keep up are general fitness. We were sent programmes to complete by the time we return to full time training on the 1st October.
It will be straight into choreography and building back our fitness for the Team Free routine to be ready to perform it at the FINA World Trophy.
This break has been great and it's given time for us to not just physically recover but also mentally after such an intense process leading up to the Olympic Games.
When the team joins back on the 1st October we will be preparing straight away for a competition in Mexico in late November.
For this meet we need to make up two more new routines so it will be straight into choreography and building back our fitness for the Team Free routine to be ready to perform it at the FINA World Trophy.