09:52AM, Friday 24 June 2016
In the second of her columns for the Express, Windsor-born member of the Great Britain Olympic shooting team Amber Hill says she is in good form ahead of her Olympic journey, but not enjoying the less than balmy British summer.
With Rio now just 43 days away, the prospect of competing in the biggest sporting event in the world is really starting to sink in.
I’ve been so crazy busy with training and competing that until now, I have barely even had a chance to think about what it really means for me to compete in the Rio Olympics.
Since sharing my last column with you, I have been to San Marino and competed in the ISSF Shotgun World Cup, where I was thrilled to win bronze.
The weather wasn’t the best – it poured it down with rain for the majority of my time there and it made me feel right at home.
The competition was very intense but I managed to hold my nerve in a shoot off in the bronze medal match against Ning Wei, who was a great competitor.
This win has certainly given me an incredible confidence boost to say the least. Knowing I’ll be flying out to Rio with a bronze medal under my belt, from the most prestigious shooting competition in the world, has helped me to believe in myself even more.
I tend to concentrate on the competition that I have coming up imminently, so until recently that was the ISSF World Cup.
Now, it’s Rio.
I head out to there mid-July and hopefully won’t be too taken aback by the change in climate.
I was out there earlier in the year for the Rio test event, which gave me the opportunity to get used to the climate conditions, however because England has been even colder than usual for this time of year, I’m unsure as to how long it will take me to acclimatise. Once I’m out there it will be a whirlwind of training and gym sessions.
Unfortunately, there won’t be much time for sight-seeing with my family who are flying out with me.
It’s good to know that they will be there to support me through what will no doubt be a physical and emotional roller-coaster journey.
I think it’s fair to say that the reality of Rio has well and truly sunk in.
Amber Hill is an Olympic skeet shooter and part of The Challengers Programme, which was set up by luxury watch brand Christopher Ward to support up-and-coming sportsmen and women in their bid to achieve their ambitions.
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