OLYMPICS LONDON 2012: Fight to make Games well worth effort, claims Smith
By Ben Baker, Sportsbeat, London 2012
IT WASN’T easy, but Great Britain rhythmic gymnastics captain Rachel Smith insists the fight to just make it to the London 2012 Olympics will be well worth the effort.
The 19-year-old Coventry gymnast endured a rollercoaster of a ride just to reach the capital this summer, her and the team originally looked unlikely to compete after narrowly failing to achieve the qualifying standard at January’s Olympic test event.
However, their appeal against the decision was successful just two months later and since then Smith and co have been training hard to ensure their reprieve does not go to waste.
“I’m hoping that having a rhythmic gymnast team in the Olympics for the first time will have an impact in young gymnasts,” she said.
“I’m hoping the public will be able to see what rhythmic gymnastics is as they don’t really know what it is as a sport, and that it will raise the profile and more people will take it up, and become a popular sport – maybe one of the most popular around.
“The Games is very real– it really hits you hard about what’s happening and I’m really excited.
“There’s not long left but we’re ready for it and we are going to go out there and show everyone what we can do.”
Great Britain couldn’t have asked for a better setting to make its rhythmic gymnastics Olympic bow, competing in front of a home crowd at Wembley Arena.
“I hope the home crowd would be supportive of whoever is there, even if they don’t know about the sport. I think it will be a good crowd,” she added.
“My family did manage to get a couple of tickets, but I know a lot of people that missed out, which is a big shame but hopefully they can cheer me on to a positive result.”
© Sportsbeat 2012