Bryony Hoping For Strongest Team Lift
1:37pm 31st July 2012
Beijing 2008 bronze medallist windsurfer, Bryony Shaw, believes the unique team spirit in the British sailing camp can once again propel her on to the podium as she prepares to get her London 2012 campaign underway at Weymouth and Portland today. (Tuesday 31st July)
Tunbridge Wells-based Shaw's finest hour came in China four years ago where she claimed a dramatic final RS:X medal race bronze and immediately paid tribute to the senior medallist members of the British sailing team in inspiring her success.
The 29-old-year from Oxford endured a tough start to the year with a persistent chest infection hampering her training. But after impressing at the 2012 RS:X Worlds in Cadiz, finishing fourth despite only being declared fit to race on day one of the event, Shaw is raring to repeat the highs of Qingdao.
Bryony said: "I got carried with the team in Beijing very much because I was one of the younger ones. For the first few days things didn't go so well. I put a lot of pressure on myself getting a disqualification halfway through. It was do or die then - I could have either kept spiralling down or really taken it in hand. The team around me was really good in getting me up and my spirits going, believing in me and then I start gaining belief in myself. The last few days absolutely nailed it.
"The RYA Olympic Manager, Stephen Park, is a very good team leader and gets the best out of his sailors. He was a really huge part in trying to lift me during Beijing, showing me that belief the team still had in me. When you know you've got his support you feel everything is on track."
Park has already described the British sailing team for London 2012 as the "strongest ever" and Shaw believes the work she has done since Beijing will once again leave her in the mix for the medals at the end of the week.
She added: "To have progressed towards Beijing 2008 so quickly on the RS:X, being at the front of the fleet from the very beginning, was just a real explosion into becoming a successful athlete.
"The whole being an Olympian thing, I was really swept into it. To do another four years we've been able to be much more objective and professional and plan things out more. I've had to be professional with sponsors, managing my time with media and I write some columns, I love all that side of things, so it's really transformed how I spend my time and it's just absolutely jam packed full. I absolutely love it. It's been amazing to be able to do a sport I love from the age of 15 as a job."
The Olympic Sailing Regatta runs from Sunday 29 July - Saturday 11 August. The RS:X Women's medal race is scheduled for Tuesday 7 August (2pm).