Here is the blog I always wanted to write!
It is official…I am going to the Olympics! My first one, my first multi sport event, I can’t wait :)
Mid July, over a month after I found out and it’s only finally starting to feel real and sink in. Probably down to combination of time and preparations slowly ramping up.
28th July was the official announcement, two days later the kitting out day. We then received our match kit and finally our last couple of practise games at our base Bisham – it has all been go go go recently.
I don’t usually stop and think but I have been a lot recently. Reflecting on my journey, reflecting on where I’ve come from to get to this point of Olympic selection. Back to the days of being a very small, blonde and energetic 6 year old and first picking up a stick to crying not so long ago on the side of a pitch wanting to give up hockey after another ankle injury setback. All the ups and downs along the way have all contributed to the person and player I am today and wouldn’t have it any other way.
I found out that I was selected by email. The email started with The squad for the Olympic games is as follows: followed by a list, in surname alphabetical order, of the players selected. The M’s are usually half way down so I desperately scrolled down skipping all those before the M’s in the alphabet. When I saw ‘McCallin, Shona’ I can remember having to read it again and again and again to check that it was me, to check that it was really me, to check that I was really selected. I didn’t shout, scream, nothing, I was just quiet and staring at my phone. At the time my older sister and boyfriend were in the car with me who said afterwards that it was a really really long awkward silence. They didn’t dare ask or say anything, just waited for me to express some sort of emotion in case it was bad news.
After the announcement came the Olympic kitting out day which was surreal. The British Olympic Association (BOA) did a real fantastic day of putting on a real celebration so huge thanks must go out to them. I made a short video that you can watch here. Maybe I’m biased but I’ve seen snippets of other nations kitting out days and they don’t look half as good as ours…
Sometimes in life, the small things really make the big difference. I’ve received some really thoughtful, special, touching gifts since being selected for the Olympics which I treasure.
A beautiful card from my old primary school, Long Bennington, that contains a good luck message from every single child at the school. Thank you Mrs Crowson for organising this!
An amazing charactour version of myself playing hockey and a one of a kind stick bag from STX which was a real surprise.
Our first game vs Australia is fast approaching so it’s all about fine-tuning things between now and then. I can’t wait to get out there, embrace the whole experience, enjoy myself and make some memories to look back on that I can be really proud of.
Bring it on!